Looking for Dork Diaries read alikes? Here are 35 book series that appeal to kids who love graphic novels and diary style books.
As a parent I have learned that I have to pick my battles in many areas. The books my children choose to read is one of those areas. If I had my druthers, they’d all be reading Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women.
As it turns out, my oldest daughter prefers fantasy, my middle daughter loves almost anything (even Nancy Drew and Anne Shirley!), and my youngest daughter is going through a great big Dork Diaries phase right now.
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While I think that The Dork Diaries series is certainly fun, I guess I can be a bit snobby about books and I sort of put it into the junk food section in my mind. But when you have a child that will not read anything else, you have to be happy that they are reading instead of being glued to screens all the time. So, I’m biting my tongue and even buying her the books in the series as they come out (we are big book buyers over here—much cheaper than paying the library fines!)
I hit a small conundrum for Valentine’s Day, though. Our tradition is to give the girls each a new book at our special Valentine’s Day breakfast and there were no new Dork Diaries books out—she had already received Book 10 for Christmas. What’s the mom of a reluctant reader to do?
Well, what I ended up doing is giving them each a book IOU, and we went to the bookstore together to pick our books. I resolved to not be dogmatic about what my youngest chose this time and hoped she could find something that appealed to her.
She did find something that she was super excited about!
She found a book called Drama by Raina Telgemeier. It’s not so much a diary style book as it is a colorful graphic novel, but she really wanted it. So we got it for her.
And then she read it 5 times in a week, she loved it so much. (Note: It does have a gay character that is mentioned but not so much a part of the novel—this does not bother me as it is a good way to discuss it with kids and there is nothing more than mentions of his being gay.)
It got me doing some more research on these diary-style and comic-book style novels that would appeal to my youngest daughter (age 9) right now. I was astounded at the amount of books there are that are written in this style! I had heard of a handful of them, but the majority are new to me. Since it’s nearly time to make my summer reading lists for the girls, I want to make sure she has at least a few of these in her book bin this summer.
I started with her Easter basket and bought her a book called Adventures of a Kid Magician (you can only purchase it at WalMart apparently) and she has been loving that one, too. So there it is—as long as she is reading I am thrilled!
35 Diary Style Books & Book Series for Kids Who Love Reading Dork Diaries
(In the case of a book series I will link the first book in the series here—and most of these are series!)
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
- Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
- Cheesie Mack is not a Genius or Anything by Steve Cotler
- The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale
- Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott
- Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper
- Letters to Leo by Amy Hest
- The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
- Daphne’s Diary of Daily Disasters by Marissa Moss
- Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis
- Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
- The My Life Series by Janet Tashjian
- Stick Dog by Tom Watson
- Desmond Puckett Makes Monster Magic by Mark Tatulli
- Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail
- Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
- Tales of a 6th Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs
- Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight
- The Ellie McDoodle Diaries by Ruth McNally Barshaw
- Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm
- Spaceheadz by John Scieszka
- Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
- The Doodlebug Adventures by Scott Jaster
- Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald
- Max Quigley, Technically Not a Bully by James Roy
- Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg
- Zeke Meeks vs. The Gruesome Girls by D.L. Green
- NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley
- Artsy-Fartsy by Karla Oceanak
- Please Write in This Book by Mary Amato
- Dear Max by Sally Grindley
- Amelia’s Notebook by Marissa Moss
- Drama by Raina Telgemeier
- Adventures of a Kid Magician by Scott and Justin Flom
Phewsh! That’s a lot of books!
I’m super excited for her to read these—because I know she will enjoy reading them. I’ll worry about getting her to read the more serious books later. For now, I’m just thrilled she has found something she likes to read.
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