The paperback edition I read was a 20th anniversary edition and was advertised as being about “life, the universe, and everything” which made me think of Douglas Adams. However, two books could not be more unalike. Sophie, the fourteen year old protagonist who is about to turn fifteen and is just beginning to be aware of herself, her surroundings, and her life in general, begins to receive strange postcards and letters addressed to another fourteen year old girl halfway around the world named Hilde. The letters seem to be from Hilde’s father who is making plans to return to her on her fifteenth birthday, but strangely enough they are sent in care of Sophie and addressed correctly to Sophie’s address.
The plot alone is enough to keep the reader interested, but the book turns out to be a study in philosophy from Plato and Socrates to Marx and Sartre. Sophie in Philosophy World takes twists and turns similar to Alice in Wonderland. The book, as one critic said, is an “easily grasped way of thinking about difficult ideas. If nothing else, the book is highly original.
Published first in 1995, the paperback edition of this YA “classic” is available as of 2015, thus the 20th anniversary of its publication.
At times this is a hard read, but it is good review of the study of philosophers with examples given that are fairly easy to comprehend and apply. This book will answer many questions, but it will keep you coming up with questions of your own.