AP Books at a Glance

If you took an AP English class this year, you know that there were many books available. But which books were better than the other choices?

Sophie’s World, by Jostien Gaarder

Sophie’s World is a very intricately detailed book that presents the history of philosophy intertwined with a narrative. Sophie started receiving anonymous philosophy lessons in the mail that have taken her on a journey through the history and main people in philosophy; while she simultaneously treks through her own adventure with the help of Alberto Knox, Hilde Møller Knag, and the elusive “Major”. Sophie has to figure out how to apply the philosophy lessons to her own life, while trying to figure out how to survive with the Major controlling humankind.

Sophie’s World could have been a lot better if the story lines were simplified. It was too intricate for its own good. Story lines changed after every chapter.

The idea of introducing philosophy in a more simplified and palatable manner is a unique one. It takes a lot of dummying down of terms and theories. If executed effectively, this idea could have produced a fantastic novel. However, when executed in its present fashion, Sophie’s World became one disappointment after another. Although the idea behind Sophie’s World was a high-quality one, the final product left much to be desired.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon

This novel revolves around Christopher Boone, an autistic teenager, who finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, dead in the yard. Christopher sets out to find Wellington’s murderer. On his investigation, Christopher discovers secrets about his family that change his entire view on life. Christopher will have to overcome the challenges of his condition to fix various situations and solve the mystery of Wellington’s killer.

This book is truly an amazing novel written from Christopher’s point of view. It puts the reader into the mindset of someone who has disabilities. Christopher’s fixation with the truth and whom he trusts shows a one-mindedness that is truly remarkable. Because of its ability to engage the reader, this book was one of the best that I have ever read, and I would definitely recommend it.