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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Jostein Gaarder
Age Range: 14+
Why does Sophie keep receiving postcards addressed to a girl called Hilde? And
who is the mysterious philosopher that appears from nowhere and is sending her
envelopes asking such questions as ‘Who are You?’ as well as detailed lessons
in philosophy? However, nothing is what it seems.
With complex twists and turns, Jostein Gaarder weaves a wonderfully original and engaging mystery story that also forms a completely accessible introduction to philosophy and philosophers from ancient Greece through hundreds of years of philosophy to the late twentieth century. It is an ideal novel to draw teenagers into the world of philosophy as it raises profound questions about the meaning of life and the origins of the universe.
With an ingenious subtext, this novel will absorb any reader as they are invited to contemplate life and the complexities of existence. Translating this book is no mean feat and Paulette Møller has done an excellent job of conveying these often very complex concepts. There is a useful ‘Notes of Philosophers’ section at the back of the book.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)