Questions Asked

Questions Asked

I first met the writing of Jostein Gaarder when Sophie's World was published at least a decade ago.  That one book told me this author thinks about philosophy, children, and making sense of the world.  I was delighted to find this book which will be a treasure for the parents of children who ask those deeper questions.  You know, the ones you can't answer.  This will give you both a chance to acknowledge and explore those questions together because someone else has asked them and put them in print for you.  Someone else has declared these questions to be important enough and recognized their existence.

What kind of questions are in this book you might be wondering.  Let's get right to it.  The book does.  It kicks off with one of those easy, gimme questions.  "Where does the world come from? Has there always been something here? Or has it all come from nothing?"

Yep, it's those questions.  Beauties. Important to discuss.  These questions celebrate the enormity of a life.  The gift of a life.  We are in something huge and these days I'd say we often forget that reality as digital devices draw our attention to something key and essential like a game about candy.  (Hey, it's fun and highly entertaining, but let's not take our eye off the ball here.)

Turn a few more pages and you come to another soft pitch...prepare yourself.... "What do I fear losing most?"

Aren't these phenomenal?  It's a collection of deeply important questions about ideas, feelings, concepts that reflect back how important the gift of a life is.  We've each got one.  We've each been given our own set of joys and challenges.  We all have the exciting opportunity of answering these phenomenal questions, "Why am I alive? Why does the world exist?  Why is there anything at all?"

It's a small book with an explosion inside.  Each question has its own page and there is a quietly drawn illustration facing it.  The combination gives you time to consider, explore, discuss, and muse before you summon your courage and turn to the next mindblower!

This is brilliant.  Truly it should be read in every middle school.  This is where you find commonality.  This is where it all begins.  This is where kids can put their feet on the ground and begin... to live the life of their dreams.

72 (each set of short questions has a page) 978-0914671664 Ages 6-13

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


A picture book with fundamental philosophical questions, posed in a way only Jostein Gaarder is capable of. The illustrator has made an independent visual narrative that underscores the existential aspect of Jostein Gaarder's philosophical questions. Questions Asked shows confidence in a child's capacity to think deeply and read between the lines. The book follows a little boy traveling alone in an open landscape. Soon we realize he is on a journey of thoughts and dreams, asking questions about loss, myth, language, magic, and what it means to be a human being. Jostein Gaarder's philosophical questions merge with the beautiful illustrations of Akin Düzakin into a tale of friendship, love, and grief - and about daring to think about life as you live it.--from the publisher

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