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The Dirt Diary

by Anna Staniszewski

Series: The Dirt Diary (Book 1)

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1644146,231 (3.9)None
After her parents' divorce, eighth-grader Rachel Lee joins her mother's new housecleaning business, which has her scrubbing bathrooms in her more popular classmates' homes and learning useful secrets.
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Part of the Sora Reads ebooks collection 2020. Interesting concept whereby Rachel is in Year 8 and her mother has decided to take a second job cleaning local people's houses on the weekend. Rachel is desperate for money as she has dipped into her college savings to buy a plane ticket to Florida to see her father and needs to pay her mother back. What Rachel doesn't realise is that she will be cleaning her classmates and teachers houses including her mortal enemy the bully Brianna. An intriguing enough book about what you will do for money and the privilege od private information. The dirt diary is a journal she keeps about the houses and people she cleans for as she tries to come to terms with changes in her friendships and her family. First in a trilogy. ( )
  nicsreads | May 5, 2020 |
I was having kind of a bad day, and this book cheered me right up! The premise is what drew me to the novel: Eighth-grader Rachel Lee helps her mother with her housecleaning business, only to find out that she has to clean house for some of the meanest kids at school, but the bonus is she learns some of their secrets along the way. The story is light and breezy, with a believable friendship and lighthearted tween romance. But there are heavier themes here—that of divorce and the acceptance of a disappointing parent—which felt so authentic that I actually teared up in places. Awesome. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a fun, spirited, but not completely frivolous read.

What writers can take away from this book:
—writing an authentic tween voice
—writing a character who happens to be biracial (without it being important to the plot)
—balancing fast pacing with satisfying character development (something I’m struggling with in my current MG WIP!)

Disclaimer: Review of free NetGalley ARC. ( )
  akbooks | Sep 12, 2019 |
Rachel is the shyest girl in her class. She only has one friend , Marisol, who appreciates Rachel's quirkiness. When Rachel starts helping her mother with a new house cleaning business, she is going to the houses of some of the richest people in town, including her archenemy, Briana. She also meets some new people and gets to know some of her classmates better. Afterall, she gets all the "dirt". She starts recording the her observations in her journal and only shares it with Marisol. But when some of the secrets she has recorded get out, Rachel is stuck trying to stop the rumors and make things right.

I really enjoyed this book. Rachel is desperate to get her parents back together and she misses her father. She does not think her mother understands anything. I like that Rachel has flaws and is called on them by family and friends. I like that she realizes that she is often in the wrong and needs to end her pity party. I like that she makes amends. I am looking forward to the next book. ( )
  TheLibraryhag | May 17, 2016 |
Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

The Dirt Diary was a surprisingly cute read for me. Rachel was a sweet girl, but I'd like to say right off that she had some growing up to do. I definitely do think that she grew throughout the novel, which was a nice surprise. I was actually expecting her to just... not.

I liked that she had a hobby, cooking. I don't want to make you guys hungry or anything... but this book makes me so hungry! Brownies, brownies, brownies - all the time! And good sounding ones, like sea salt brownies, or triple chocolate. They sound so good and were described so well that I could literally taste it.

The dirt diary thing was just not as capitalized on as I expected it to be, though. There were a few things that made it out of the diary, but for the most part it stayed under lock and key. I liked the fact that Rachel made new friends through the course of the story.

All in all, The Dirt Diary was a cute read... but I really don't have much to say about it, unfortunately. ( )
  MVTheBookBabe | Dec 8, 2013 |
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"Rachel, what are you doing with that toilet brush?" Mom calls as she comes out of the house with a mountain of paper towles in her arms. "Um, practicing?" I say, realizing I've been absently twirling the brush like a baton.
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After her parents' divorce, eighth-grader Rachel Lee joins her mother's new housecleaning business, which has her scrubbing bathrooms in her more popular classmates' homes and learning useful secrets.

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Anna Staniszewski is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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