Told in the form of a diary, Sue Townsend’s young adult novel The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ (1982) details the existence and struggles of the titular British boy who, fancying himself an intellectual, often misunderstands the events surrounding him.

The novel opens with the January 1st entry, in which Adrian lists his New Year’s resolutions and complains that his father, George, got the dog drunk at the party the night before. Suspecting his parents might be alcoholics, he has pessimistic expectations for his living situation. After the drunken party, both parents become ill; Adrian attempts to be a good person by preparing meals for them, but they do not eat his food, which perplexes him. Adrian is also part of a school group that helps older people; he is assigned an eighty-nine-year old man named Bert.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole