Thursday, 26 April 2012

The growing pains of a parent helped by Adrian Mole

My son is 13 and 3/4 just the same age as Adrian Mole in the book that was monumental in my childhood. Reading books are a right of passage , it is a skill that is passed on when your parents read to you . Whilst reading with your parents brings you together reading on your own brings the world to you and opens your eyes and senses.

My son was worried that he really wasn't getting that far in his English, he is however top stream and really has nothing to fret apart. But as he goes to one of these new fangled Academies the pressure is on whether it is fair is another debate and another length blog post. It is hard to believe that this great book is indeed thirty years old.  The book when it came out coincided with the Falklands War  of 1982 at which time I was 10 years old and at such an age I wasn't reading the book.

Sue Townsend
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend

I came to read this book in 1986   whilst my friends were living it up wearing ra -ra skirts and ba boopers and dancing to the the likes of Duran Duran , A-Ha etc were a phenomenon  this book was too! And it was one that spread all over the country. I had my nose in a book, I always had a nose in a book.The book gripped me as it was in an easy style to read as in it in  diary form. So it is perfect for a boy to read some parents might um and err about handing t such a book over to their child at this age. Though believe me your child knows more then you think, 13 (teenage) is the age where they snigger at set phrases.

Of course like Adrian Mole my son has pretentions to being intellectual by the other books he reads ( some of which I read as a child and I have encouraged him  to read ) The book is a parenting manual in effect ! Although I don't think my son is love struck ,  angst sometimes yes.

Tennager angst here read Adrian Mole then....

So whilst times have obviously moved on this book will no doubt tickle him in some sort of fashion. He is going on rugby tour soon I am sure that there will be worse going off on that than there is in this book!

A diary is a tangible commodity which you can sense and feel as you are reading it. I wonder if Adrian Mole was to do a diary now would it have the same effects in the realms of social media? Do you keep a handwritten diary  and of so would you donate it to the British Museum for its future posterity ?


  1. It's an absolute classic, that I'd hand over to a teen in a heartbeat. You might need to explain some of the cultural references of the time, but they're not massive. I remember reading it in about 1988/89 when I was 12, and loving it.

    There are bits that will go straight over a teen's head, but that's part of why it's so clever (the section about his mum getting pregnant but "she was wearing her new cap" puzzled me for a long time), it went over my head in the exact same way it was going over Adrian's in the book.

  2. I don't write a diary, but I did love these books as a kid. They used to make me laugh out loud :)


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