Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences

The Dirt Diary (series) by Anna Staniszewski


Book Summary

Rachel lives with her mom, who is working hard with her cleaning service. They don't have a lot of extra money, so Rachel sometimes goes with her mother to help clean houses. It's just a little awkward when she ends up cleaning the rooms of some of her school's most popular girls. With access to private information, will she give in to temptation or do the right thing?

The Dirt Diary book cover
The Dirt Diary

Book Review

Although the main character is in eighth grade, many students in fourth or fifth grade can appreciate the social struggles she faces, and there isn't any content that would be too racy for ten-year-olds (references to crushes are as far as it goes). Rachel is dealing with shyness, her father's departure, and her new relationship with her mother. It isn't the world's deepest book, but it deals with ethics in an accessible way, and offers splashes of  fun.

Class Structure Recommendation: Independent Reading

Other books in this series include:

The Prank List book cover
The Prank List
The Gossip File book cover
The Gossip File

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Identity
  • Family Relationships
  • Popularity
  • Ethics; Honesty
  • Class Systems
  • Insecurity / Self-Confidence

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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