''Dork Diaries'', written in a diary format, uses doodles, drawings, and comic strips to chronicle the daily life of the main character, Nikki Maxwell, as she struggles to fit in and survive middle school. The series is based on Russell's middle school experiences. Her daughter, Nikki, is the illustrator of the series. The main character, Nikki Maxwell, is named after her daughter.
''The Misadventures of Max Crumbly'' is about a character, Maxwell Crumbly, who keeps a diary about his challenges in middle school. He is introduced in ''Dork Diaries: Tales From A Not-So Perfect Pet Sitter''.
As of January 2019, more than 45 million copies of ''Dork Diaries'' have been sold worldwide in 42 languages.
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