Birthday Drama! by Rachel Renee Russell

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Dork Diaries book 13. Simon and Schuster, 2018. ISBN 9781471173158
(Ages 9-12) Themes: Family life, Birthdays, Friendship. Birthday Drama is the thirteenth book in the very popular Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renee Russell. 'The Private Diaries of Nikki J. Maxwell' take us into the high and lows of her teenage life, friendships, frenemies, parents, bullying and her teenage crush. Presented in a notebook format and illustrated with line drawings, doodles and comic strips, fourteen-year-old Nikki's world is filled with drama, tension and emotion. Russell and her daughter Erin's Nikki are excitedly planning her ultimate birthday party with her two BFFs Chloe and Zoey; this will be the social event of the year. After lots of fun discussions they decide a POOL PARTAY - a tropical island theme at the local pool. Nikki's must-haves include a DJ, lots of delicious food and exciting decorations, with a hundred guests invited. Will this impress Nikki's crush, handsome teen Brandon?
One major problem with the expensive party plans is Nikki's lack of funds, her secret sock contains only $8.73, not quite the $500 Chloe needs for the budget. Mum's plans are also problematic, her $100 offer includes their neighbour Mrs. Wallabanger's accordion music and two ladies performing from her senior's belly-dancing class. Her little sister's offer to make the birthday cake is fraught with disaster as well. She decides to cancel her party; however, Chloe's already posted the invitations. The girls decide to retrieve the letters before they are sent out. Their hunt for the posted invitations leads to the Mail Room where the Mail Man is nearly wiped-out by three 'birthday-party-obsessed psychotic girls.'
Nikki's summer plans are also causing problems, should she tour with Brandon and the Bad Boyz band or join the trip to Paris? Luckily, her sister Miss Bri Bri's unusual flavoured dog cookies help save the birthday party in a special way.
Russell's series is extremely popular, tween readers love the excitement, drama and fun that makes up Nikki's life. Birthday Drama is aptly named and will be enjoyed by Dork Diaries fans.
Rhyllis Bignell