‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’

Best of: books for ages 14-18 #4: ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾’ by Sue Townsend

This piece of comedy genius has delighted teenagers for many years now. Published in 1982, and blessed with a large number of sequels which take Adrian through and out of his thirties, the novel takes the form of a diary: sometimes irreverent and often inaccurate.

Adrian is (in his own opinion, at least) an intellectual. Surrounded by useless people, namely his parents and teachers, he tells the story of the world as he sees it. Through his eyes, we experience the many ups and downs, as well as the oddities, of teenage life.

Historically, the book is also an interesting read: set against the background of Thatcher’s Britain, it offers many historically accurate insights into what living through the time was like. That isn’t the real secret of the book’s appeal, however: it is about as funny as a book can get while still retaining a proper plot. To be read and reread.

By the same author: All of the sequels, plus ‘The Queen and I’, the story of the royal family when forced to relocate to a council estate.

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