Mostteenagers, including me, usually fall asleep at the mere mention of philosophy.Amazingly, though, Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder has managed to turn agenerally boring topic into a riveting 513-page story. Sophie's World is thefirst novel about philosophy written especially for young people, sharing thehistory of philosophy with a mind-boggling tale.
Sophie Amundsen is atypical 14-year-old who, like many, knows next to nothing about philosophy. Oneday, though, she receives a mysterious package that contains two questions:"Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?"
She is thus plunged unexpectedly into a correspondence course inphilosophy with an enigmatic instructor, covering such celebrated philosophers asSocrates, Hume, Kant, Hegel and Freud. While Sophie puzzles over the questions,she receives another baffling batch of mail. As Sophie struggles to make sense ofit all, she must use her newly gained knowledge about philosophy. The complextruth, however, will require all of Sophie's ingenuity and determination tounearth.
Sophie's World is the most thought-provoking novel I have everread. It combines an overview of philosophy with a riveting story and a maincharacter I could really relate to. I learned more about philosophy than I everimagined a work of fiction could teach me. I recommend this novel to all who seekto broaden their horizons. Sophie's World has certainly opened my eyes to a wholenew realm of thought.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.