At fifteen, Georg comes upon a letter written to him by his dying father, to be read when he comes of age. Their two voices make a fascinating dialogue as Georg comes to know the father he can barely remember, then is challenged by him to answer some profound questions. The central mystery of The Orange Girl is the story of an elusive young woman for whom Georg’s father searches in Oslo and Seville and whom Georg finally realizes is his mother. A thought-provoking fairy-tale romance imbued with the sense of awe and wonder that is Jostein Gaarder’s hallmark. Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder, whose novel Sophie’s World was a best-seller in 40 countries, is also the author of The Ringmaster’s Daughter, Maya, The Solitaire Mystery, and The Christmas Mystery.
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Jostein Gaarder was born in Oslo in 1952. Sophie's World, the first of his books to be published in English, has been translated into 60 languages and has sold over 40 million copies. He is the author of many other bestselling, beloved novels and children's books, including The Orange Girl, The Christmas Mystery and The Ringmaster's Daughter. He lives in Oslo with his family.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6-9 - The Norwegian author of Sophie's World (Penguin, 1996) and other chewy tales pops a Big Question here, but the leisurely way he prepares readers for it may lose most of them. Fifteen-year-old Georg is stunned to receive a long-hidden letter from his father, who died of cancer 11 years previously. It's a loving, romantic missive to the future, in which his dad not only describes how he met and fell utterly in love with Georg's mother, but also lyrically expresses an intense appreciation for the universe's wonders: common oranges, distant stars, the "great fairytale" in which he feels himself to be living,and, most especially, little Georg. Already knowing that he's about to die, at last he asks whether it would have been better to have spared himself the pain of losing it all so soon by never having lived - a question he invites his son (and readers) to consider, too. As he reads, Georg intersperses reactions and remarks about his own life, deliberately creating a collaborative story that draws together previously unsuspected connections with his barely remembered parent. He closes with his Answer; readers who get that far will be left to mull over their own. - John Peters, New York Public Library
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