The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

As the series begins, Adrian Mole is at a crossroads in his life.  He’s 13 3/4 and his teachers have yet to notice that he’s an intellectual; they don’t even ask to read the rejection letters he’s received from the BBC (no matter how flagrantly he displays them on his desk).  Barry Kent, the school bully, torments him unless paid off with allowance money.  The dog requires frequent vet visits (although these are mostly due to things like Adrian stuffing wool in his ears so that he won’t be frightened by fireworks).  Adrian doesn’t understand his parents or their marital/financial difficulties.  All is not lost though, for Adrian is in love for the very first time.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 is an earnest, comical “account” of a British lad’s early teenage years.  Adrian is an endearing character—his New Year’s Resolutions include “helping the blind to cross the road”.  He joins the Good Samaritan club and basically adopts Bert Baxter, a feisty old-age pensioner.  Adrian and his girlfriend Pandora welcome a Hindi family to the neighborhood when their adult counterparts aren’t necessarily so-inclined.  And let’s not forget that this is the “diary” of a teenage boy—as such, it is filled with the pinings of first love, obsession with his complexion and certain measurements, various career aspirations, and candid (if naive) observations about the people/events around him.

Highly recommended!  For a glimpse inside the book or for a list of other Adrian Mole titles, please visit http://www.adrianmole.com/books/diary.html

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