Fifteen-year-old Georg is more than surprised when his grandparents bring him a manuscript from his father, who died 11 years ago when Georg was still a toddler. Living now with his mother, stepfather and baby sister, Georg locks himself in his bedroom to read the document. What follows is a story about his father and the Orange Girl, so named because the first time his father is attracted to her, she is carrying bags of oranges. The story of the Orange Girl is the story of first love. Georg's father is 19 years old when he tells his tale directly to the son he'll never see grow up. There is a bit of obsession as he looks for the girl in crowds and a bit of mystery in his attempts to find out who she is. For Georg, there is a look into the personality of a father he barely remembers. Threaded through the story of first love is information regarding the Hubble telescope and its "eye on the universe," which leads to a philosophical inquiry about human existence and the short amount of time humans have to spend on Earth. The novel is more about contemplating questions about life than answering them. Set in Norway, with references to people, places and events there and in Europe, the novel is translated into British English and some vocabulary may be quirky for the average American reader. KLIATT Codes: SRecommended for senior high school students. 2004, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, dist. by Trafalgar Square, 151p., Ages 15 to 18.
Georg Reed barely remembers his father. Eleven years after his father's death, Georg's family discovers a letter tucked in Georg's old pram. Georg's father wrote the letter to Georg when he knew that he was going to die soon. Georg begins to read the letter and is soon captivated by his father's story of a woman known as the Orange Girl. Georg's father met her on a bus when he was in medical school and she had bags of oranges. Georg keeps reading the letter, as desperate to discover the identity of this strange woman as his father was years before. Georg is also intrigued with his father's interest in the Hubble telescope, an interest Georg shares. As Georg reads further, he discovers many things about a man who, until now, has been a complete stranger. Garrder's story is a modern fairy tale. Gaarder takes the most ordinary happenings and writes about them in a magical way, creating a truly refreshing tale. 2004, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Ages 12 up.
Amie Rose Rotruck
A modern fairytaleHEAT
It should be read by allVOGUE
A whimsical, thought-provoking story, with more than one surprise in storeGOOD BOOK GUIDE