March 7, 2002 Speaking of Bridget Jones...
...as we were yesterday, gives me an opportunity to bring up two Bridgetish YA books I'm fond of.
Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison was compared to Bridget at the time it came out because, well, it's the funny diary of a British female. The big difference is that Georgia, the main character, is a teenager. Thus, being self-absorbed is much more normal for her than it is for Bridget, who is thirty if she's a day. Boyfriend and clothing problems get old fast with adults. Get a life, Bridget. But boyfriends and clothes are a more significant part of a teenager's world. Georgia never wears out her welcome, the way Bridget does.
The Adrian Mole Diaries by Sue Townsend contains two books originally published in the late 1980s/early 90s. The first book begins on New Year's Day with a list. Sound familiar? So does Bridget. The books are supposed to have been wildly popular in England. Sound familiar? So was Bridget. But, remember, Adrian was first. Hmmm. In addition to having a teenage main character, the Adrian Mole books are also deeper than Bridget. Adrian comments on what was going on in England at the time. High unemployment and immigration, for instance. That's social commentary, which holds a reader's interest a whole lot better than "Oh, how many cigarettes have I had today? That can't be good."
A question: Were the Adrian Mole books originally published as children's books?
June 13, 2006 Your First BAFAB Recommendation
I want to make my Buy A Friend A Book Week recommendations YA books that aged ones can also enjoy. My first two choices, sadly, are out of print. That's okay, though, because this book may even be better.
Before there was Georgia Nicholson, before there was Bridget Jones, there was Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend. And his adventures, taken together as The Adrian Mole Diaries are available for young and old alike to enjoy.
Adrian is supposed to have been huge in England back in his day, and Helen Fielding has admitted to being influenced. So you could call him the boy who launched the chicklit journal craze. He is, however, significantly deeper than his female followers, though still very funny. I have been a fan since discovering him in a local middle school library.
Quite honestly, I don't know if this book was originally published as YA or if it is being promoted as YA now. It deserves to be better known in this country and could easily be a cross-over book. So go out and buy it for a teenager or adult you know.