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Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (also known as Skating Sensation) is the 4th book in the Dork Diaries series. It was released on June 5, 2012.
Nikki Maxwell isn’t at all surprised to find out that her crush Brandon volunteers at a local animal shelter. He’s such a sweet guy—of course he wants to help those adorable puppies! Then Brandon tells her that the shelter is in danger of closing, and Nikki knows she can’t let that happen. Especially when she discovers a shocking secret about Brandon that makes keeping that shelter open more important than ever. So Nikki and her friends Chloe and Zoey enter an ice skating competition to help raise money for the shelter, but (big surprise) Mackenzie has to stick her nose in and cause trouble so that she can be the one to swoop in and save the day. No way will Nikki let that happen: She’ll just have to come up with some extra creative ideas this time!
Sunday, December 1
Nikki is trying to take a shower, but Brianna needs to come in and check to see if she left any of her toys in there. Nikki tells her to go away. Brianna comes back with the phone and tells her she needs to come out and take the call. Nikki tells her to hang up, and Brianna tells the person Nikki doesn't want to talk to him because he has cooties, meaning Brandon called. Nikki comes out and gets the phone from Brianna while still wearing a towel and soaking from her shower. Brandon invites Nikki and her friends to his birthday party next month. However, thanks to what Brianna told Brandon, Nikki thinks Brandon will think she's a "hairy-legged crusty-eyed freak".
Monday, December 2
Before Nikki can talk to Chloe and Zoey about what happened yesterday, their gym teacher announces that the Holiday On Ice show is coming up, and students can either test their skills or participate in an ice show. Each charity a student skates for will receive a $3,000 donation. If they do well, they'll get A's, which Nikki and her friends could use after their zombie ballet debacle. Chloe wants to dance like the characters in her favorite ice skating story, The Ice Princess. Zoey loves it, but Nikki is not so sure. Zoey and Chloe beg her to skate with them. Nikki reluctantly agrees.
Tuesday, December 3
Social studies talked about career goals, and Nikki already has her ideals set in mind. Meanwhile, in Biology, Nikki is still too nervous to talk to Brandon based on what Brianna told him and believes her invitation was solely out of pity. MacKenzie tries to get invited to Brandon's party. The teacher warns her she'll have to clean the rat cage if she doesn't stop.
Wednesday, December 4
Brandon wants to talk to Nikki in the newspaper office about how she's been acting. After that's cleared up, she notices that he's looking at photos for the animal shelter called Fuzzy Friends, which Brandon volunteers at. Brandon invites Nikki to help out on Friday, and she happily accepts, clearing all doubt about what she thinks he thinks of her.
Thursday, December 5
Nikki starts worrying about Holidays On Ice. She, Zoey and Chloe can't find a charity to sponsor them. Not only that, but MacKenzie seems to have a few charities sponsoring her.
Friday, December 6
Nikki prepares to go to Fuzzy Friends with Brandon and gives him a bow from Brianna for wrapping around the puppies. They take some photos with the puppies wearing it and they are so sad to see Nikki go, they pounce on her. Despite that, Nikki has a wonderful time. Brandon takes a photo of the puppies wearing the pieces of ribbon for Nikki to give to Brianna as thanks.
Saturday, December 7
Christmas is right around the corner and the Maxwells are getting into the spirit. Mr. Maxwell and Brianna decorate Max the Roach up, much to Nikki's horror. Just when she was finally gonna tell Chloe and Zoey the truth about her scholarship, too.
Sunday, December 8
Nikki's Dad uses an old snowblower he got at a yard sale which has the snow-chute stuck at an angle that causes the snow to land right back where he plowed it. So, Nikki ends up shoveling the walkway.
Monday, December 9
Nikki has to do a report on Moby Dick. While she's reading, she gets confused as to why the whale is called Moby Dick and gets so bored with the story, she falls asleep and hits her head. Later, in the girls' bathroom, she overhears MacKenzie and Jessica talking about some secrets about Brandon and that he had to leave school after first hour. Nikki grows worried about Brandon.
Tuesday, December 10
Brandon tells Nikki that he heard from Fuzzy Friends owners Phil and Betty Smith that Phil broke his leg and will be unable to work for two months. Betty can't work by herself and plans to close the shelter down as soon as the remaining pets are found new homes or sanctuaries. Nikki gets an idea and tells Zoey and Chloe that their charity will be Fuzzy Friends. The donation they'll get should be enough to keep Fuzzy Friends open until Phil recovers. Nikki is still worried, though, that MacKenzie might have ulterior motives.
Wednesday, December 11
It appears MacKenzie is skating for Fuzzy Friends, planning to steal Nikki's charity idea. Nikki finds out that Betty will be closing Fuzzy Friends at the end of the month and offers to help Brandon with the adoptions in anyway. MacKenzie tries butting in and telling Brandon about her charity cause, but it backfires. Brandon also tells Nikki that he'll never forget her.
Thursday, December 12
Nikki struggles on a standardized test.
Friday, December 13
While her mom goes shopping for flowers at the flower shop next to Fuzzy Friends, Nikki heads over to the animal shelter to talk to Betty about her charity cause. Betty is overjoyed and accepts Nikki's offer, even telling her her grandson will be happy to hear about it. As she leaves, Nikki discovers to her shock that Betty's grandson is actually Brandon and they may be moving away soon.
Saturday, December 14
Nikki wonders about Brandon's past and knows she must skate in the show to keep him in town.
Sunday, December 15
Nikki's mother passes the Christmas tradition of baking cookies down to her. Nikki has to bake them with Brianna, but it proves to be easier said than done when Brianna makes a mess of things. She and Miss Penelope end up burning the cookies by turning the oven up too high.
Monday, December 16
Nikki heads to the high school arena that the students will be skating at for Holidays On Ice only to fall flat on her face and butt due to her inability to skate.
Tuesday, December 17
Nikki tries to put together her Moby Dick report at the last minute but just can't do it. She plays with Brianna instead and suddenly gets an idea about filming a little scene based on the confrontation from the book to save her report.
Wednesday, December 18
The students in gym class are going to skate while their teacher scores them as if it were the Winter Olympics. While MacKenzie skates masterfully, Nikki stumbles and falls, earning herself a -4. Because of this, she quits Holiday On Ice.
Thursday, December 19
With no other options, Nikki considers asking MacKenzie to skate for Fuzzy Friends in her place since she doesn't have a charity. Brandon comes by to the library while she's at the front desk to give her a present from Betty, which is a DVD of the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp, her favorite movie. Unfortunately, she finds out MacKenzie is skating for the Westchester Institute of Fashion and Cosmetics, so she'll have to skate after all. She also imagines her and Brandon reenacting the movie's famous spaghetti dinner scene.
Friday, December 20
There are very few days left until Christmas and Nikki is hoping that her mom sees her wish list. Her mom gets her and Brianna two fancy dresses and tickets to a performance of The Nutcracker.
Saturday, December 21
After a delay or two, the Maxwells are ready to go to the theater to see The Nutcracker. Brianna wants to hear the story of the play and Nikki tries telling it as fast as possible while she and her parents mention the land of sweets and how everything is made of sweets. As the show begins, Brianna kicks the seat of a bald man in front of them and gets hushed by other attendants. When the rat king comes on, she yells at the rat and mentions the time Nikki dressed up as one for Halloween. During intermission, Brianna needs to go to the bathroom. Nikki takes her there and waits for her. While she's waiting, she purchases a big chocolate cupcake. Thinking Brianna's just stalling now, she goes in and grabs a random girl from the bathroom. Nikki believes she lost Brianna and regrets leaving her out of her sight. But as soon as the show comes back on, the rest of the family sees Brianna on stage where she sees all the sweets and tries to eat them only to find out they're just props. Despite her shenanigans, the audience loves the performance. After they leave, Brianna is heartbroken that those weren't real sweets. Feeling bad for her, Nikki slips her cupcake and a glass of milk to Brianna from Princess Sugar Plum to cheer her up. Nikki does love her family.
Sunday, December 22
The family goes out to build a snowman, but disaster strikes as Mr. Maxwell ends up covered in snow and made into a snowman himself.
Monday, December 23
Nikki and Brianna do some last minute shopping at the nearest drugstore to get their parents' presents, which is usually toothbrushes and gummy vitamins. There, Nikki discovers a sale on scrapbooks which is buy one, get four free and plans to buy one for her parents and get one for Brianna, one for Chloe, one for Zoey, and one for Brandon. Especially Brandon considering the circumstances. Suddenly, Nikki spots MacKenzie in the cosmetic section. Desperate, she asks her to skate for Fuzzy Friends in her place, for Brandon if that's the only way to convince her. MacKenzie refuses and admits that she wants Nikki to fail so that Brandon will hate Nikki and come to her for comfort. Flabbergasted at MacKenzie's plan, Nikki knows she has to skate and save Fuzzy Friends at any cost. When she gets home, she starts on the scrapbooks.
Tuesday, December 24
It's Christmas Eve, and Mrs. Maxwell has made sweaters with 3D style snowmen jutting out. They get together to take a family photo wearing them, but the tree falls over just as the camera goes off, thanks to Brianna wanting a candy cane. They'll also be going to Aunt Mabel's tomorrow for dinner, which Nikki is not looking forward to.
Wednesday, December 25
It's Christmas day. The family wakes up and opens their presents. Nikki finally gets a cell phone. They all go to Aunt Mabel's for Christmas dinner, where Nikki is forced to sit at the kiddie table with all the other kids younger than her. After that, Nikki texts pics of her to Zoey and Chloe to show them the good news that is her present and imagines what kind of Christmas Brandon is having.
Thursday, December 26
It's the first day of practice hosted by gold medal figure skater, Victoria Steel, a total ice skating diva. Since Nikki can't really skate, she pretends to have injured herself by putting on a fake cast and holding crutches. While Zoey and Chloe practice without her, MacKenzie realizes this ploy and calls Nikki a faker. Thankfully, Zoey and Chloe finish the routine perfectly well. One session down, two to go.
Friday, December 27
It's day two of practice, and Nikki has to go out on the ice if she's going to make it to the show. Brandon takes photos of Victoria to distract her so the girls can finish their routine. None the wise, Victoria gives them a pass and they just have to get through one more day.
Saturday, December 28
Nikki and Brianna going sledding: part 1. Nikki and Brianna prepare to go down Dead Man's Drop. As they sled down, they come across a ramp.
To Be Continued...
Sunday, December 29
Nikki and Brianna going sledding: part 2. Nikki and Brianna make the jump and crash into a tree.
Monday, December 30
It's the final day of practice and Nikki has to bring Brianna with her because their parents have important tasks to run. A fan arrives with a bouquet of flowers for Victoria, and Nikki gets the idea of having Brianna bring them to her to distract her while the girls finish their routine. Because of Brianna's cuteness and the flowers, Victoria is so happy to see the girls after finishing their routine, meaning they made it through all three sessions. Now, they're ready for the show. The only problem is that Nikki is worried that MacKenzie may still have a plan to sabotage them.
Tuesday, December 31
It's the day of Holiday On Ice, and the girls are ready after fitting into their fairy costumes. However, while they're having a nice time relaxing before the big show, they discover to their dismay that their fairy outfits have been swapped out with clown costumes. They hear that the fairy costumes are being shipped back to NYC as they speak, so it's too late to get them back. While Zoey and Chloe are teardriven, Nikki reminds them that they must worry more about the performance and less about the outfits. With her words in their heads, they cheer up and are ready to skate. Before they perform, they find a note seemingly written by Victoria that she found their costumes and they are in Locker 17, Storage Area C. They believe it and go to the locker to find them only to discover they're not there. Just as their backs are turned, the door locks behind them. Chloe's phone is about to die out, but she decides to use it to call their moms, only to no luck as they're turned off for the performances. And they can't call 911 just to get rescued from a locked room. All hope seems lost until Nikki gets an idea. She tells Chloe to call her phone. Chloe does so and Brianna answers. Nikki bribes Brianna that she can play the Princess Sugar Plum game, an app on her phone, if she helps them. Brianna notices Brandon and Nikki tells her to give him the phone. He answers and Nikki tells him what happens, but he doesn't get it. She tries to reiterate, but Chloe's phone dies out before she can finish. Thankfully, they heard everything and find them and set them free. They also get an idea to add to their clown act, and just in time as MacKenzie is wrapping up her routine. And the show is also awarding a $10,000 prize to the crowd favorite, which MacKenzie appears to be right now. They also know she was the one who locked them in the storage room to try to keep them from performing. The girls are ready to perform their clown act and, after Nikki falls down, the crowd actually starts to laugh. After all, clowns are born to make people laugh. So, they decide to use their motif to their advantage and do a funny yet graceful performance. And Brianna also pops out of a present prop as an extra part of the act. In a miraculous turn of events, the girls win the cash reward and save Fuzzy Friends. Once again, MacKenzie has been foiled. Brandon gives Nikki a bouquet and a hug as thanks for saving Fuzzy Friends, and Nikki is happy that Brandon will get to stay as the two skate together.
- Nikki finally gets her own cell phone for Christmas.