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Read 'Dork Diaries' With NPR's Backseat Book Club

It's no secret that the middle school experience can be not so fabulous, and that's particularly true for the teen at the center of Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life. The book, the first in the Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell, is the July pick for NPR's Backseat Book Club.

Like the beloved Wimpy Kid books, theDork Diaries series features a middle school protagonist who's a reluctant — but hilarious — diarist. Nikki J. Maxwell is the new girl at a fancy school (she has a scholarship because her dad is the school's exterminator). All she wants is to fit in with the cool girls, which means having the right clothes, the right lip gloss, the right phone ...

Nikki tries to heed her grandmother's advice about how to face life's challenges — "You can be either a CHICKEN or a CHAMPION. The choice is YOURS!" — but it isn't easy.

Nikki navigates the challenges of teenage life with sass and a sense of humor. Her sketches and doodles will keep kids turning pages and returning for more.

We hope you'll read along with us and send in your questions for Rachel Renee Russell and her daughter (they work together creating the "Dork Diaries" series.) You can email your questions to backseatbookclub@npr.org, or tweet us @nprbackseat.

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