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WHAT IS IT ABOUT: Adrian Mole is a typical teenage boy whose diary reveals him to be nervous, hormonal and struggling with the day to day events of teenage life. A fictional diary written by SUe Townsend, this is a light hearted, comic and touching book from the early 90s.
IS IT ANY GOOD: Here's a book I read as a young boy and have just now finished again. I remember loving it as a kid, and it still holds a lot of charm, for a couple of reasons:
1) It's easy to relate to - the maladies of working class inner city family life are something many people will be able to understand, from parents overdoing it on the drink, to measuring your growing penis, this is so normal it's laughable. Looking at someone else going through the same thing you've been through helps show you how funny life really is.
2) It's accessible - for a teen reader, you can enjoy the general comic plot, but for older readers you will also be able to appreciate the satirical content that attacks the society we live in.
3) The unreliable narrator - as it's written in the first person, there are times Adrian is telling us something where he is unable to see what is really going on (like his mum's having an affair), but where we can clearly see it. This is called the unreliable narrator, and adds a sense of suspense to the plot as we wait for the dumb kid to cotton on.
NOW FOR THE BAD BITS:
The book is well dated, with talk of LP records and Margaret Thatcher, so young readers today will likely struggle with these contextual details. Also, the text is not very daring, with a vry naive content, such as 'measured my thing'. Rude words or street-wise content are not included, which is a bit babyish for today's market I would suggest.
IF YOU LIKED IT: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is a fantastic book written by a fifteen year old narrator who has autism. Also an unreliable narrator, there are many connections to Adrian Mole, but the Post Modern structure makes it much more exciting.