128 pages 4 hours read

Jostein Gaarder

Sophie's World

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1991

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Sophie’s World

  • Genre: Fiction; young adult philosophical novel
  • Originally Published: 1991
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 8-12, college/adult
  • Structure/Length: 35 chapters; approx. 403 pages; approx. 16 hours, 53 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: Fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen lives in Lillesand, Norway. She starts receiving messages in her mailbox for another girl, which sets off a series of events that has Sophie questioning who the girl is, who she herself is, and the world Sophie and the girl live in.

Jostein Gaarder, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1952 in Oslo, Norway; noted intellectual, environmental activist, and author; attended Oslo Cathedral School and the University of Oslo, where he studied Scandinavian languages and theology; taught high school before becoming a writer; his writing explores a child’s sense of wonder about the world; often utilizes metafiction in his books; Sophie’s World (1991) has been translated into 60 languages and has over 40 million copies in print
  • Other Works: The Solitaire Mystery (1990); Through a Glass, Darkly (1993); The Orange Girl (2004); Anton and Jonatan (2014)
  • Awards: Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award, 1994)        

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • What It Means to Be a Philosopher
  • The History of Ideas
  • The Unity in All Existence

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will: