"Sometimes I wonder if my mom is BRAIN DEAD. Then there are days when I know she is. Like today." So begins the diary of Nikki Maxwell, 8th grade, Westchester Country Day School.
Nikki's mom just doesn't understand that Nikki needs an iPhone, and entry into the CCP (Cute, Cool & Popular) group...not a diary. Unfortunately, the closest Nikki is getting to entry into the CCP, is having her locker next to uber popular Mackenzie Hollister. Mackenzie is a classic mean girl who wields her lip-gloss, and shoots off zingers about everyone else's fashion faux pas. School is a bit tortuous for Nikki, who cannot afford designer duds, techie gadgets, and fab vacations.
So Nikki is excited when she sees signs for the Random Acts of Avant-Garde Art contest. She is an artist, and the $500 prize could be used for her phone! But when Nikki hears that Mackenzie is entering the contest, she freaks out and ends up signing up to be a LSA (library shelving assistant) instead. Why bother competing against Mackenzie? She always wins.
What Nikki doesn't expect, is to make 2 great friends in the LSA program. Chloe and Zoey are book fiends who are geeked about having the chance to get to NYC to attend National Library Week. Maybe Nikki's artistic talent can help her new friends out.
Readers will *love* Nikki's illustrations in this diary format book. With a slight manga style, pictures of everyday school life are hilarious and engaging. Nikki has a fresh voice, and while I was reading Dork Diaries, I couldn't help but hear the voice of Six from the show Blossom! There is plenty of current slang, name dropping of celebs, and techno speak. It will be interesting to see if there are any changes in the final product especially in regards to a certain celebrity who is in a bit of legal trouble!
Today's tweens will eat this one up! The combo of illustrations and diary format is sure to please . In this age of Wimpy Kid, the format is a winner, and Nikki is so entertaining. A perfect beach read.