Books that ask big questions

This week, I have chosen books on the theme of Big Questions – those seeming simple questions that have big answers that will be every so slightly different for everyone.

I’m starting with Great Minds: 2500 Years Of Thinkers and Philosophy by Joan Haig and Joan Lennon, illustrated by Andre Ducci.

Discover 19 brilliant thinkers and their unique ideas that changed the world over 2,500 years!

Aristotle’s ideas shaped our understanding of the natural world for hundreds of years. Yacob’s Hatäta laid the grounds for equality long before our time. Gandhi’s philosophy inspired non-violent protest movements all over the world, and Langer shook up our understanding of what art is and can be. The brilliant ideas from each of these amazing thinkers have stayed with humans for centuries, teaching us new ways of uncovering our world and understanding each other.

Covering ideas from the last 2500 years, explore the time periods that shaped each thinker’s ideas, unpack the theories in accessible, easy to digest text and discover the impact they had for the years to come. Presented in graphic novel style, this is a book to inspire a new generation of thinkers and philosophers.

Next, for our younger readers, I have picked The Treasure: A Story About Finding Joy In Unexpected Places by Marcella Ferriera and Brian Lambert. 

The Treasure unfolds atop a desolate mountain, where an old chest houses a fabled treasure promising the fulfilment of dreams. Hare embarks on a quest, seeking adventure and excitement, only to encounter Bear and Bird, each with their own heartfelt aspirations: friendship and overcoming shyness.

As they journey together, the trio faces challenges, anticipating the grandeur of the treasure. Yet, when they reach their destination and uncover the long-awaited prize, a profound realization dawns on them. The true treasure is not the elusive object within the chest; instead, it’s the bonds of friendship they’ve forged along the way.

The Treasure beautifully encapsulates the essence of friendship and the inherent value it holds, delivering a touching and timeless message about the true treasures to be found in our world.

Finally, for Year 4 and above, I’ve chosen Stitch by Padraig Kenny.

Stitch’s simple questions dive deep into the essence of what it means to be human, exploring themes of acceptance and self-discovery. Stitch and Henry aren’t just artificial creations; they’re everything it means to be a good person with their unwavering friendship, loyalty, ability to forgive, and offer kindness in the face of cruelty.

He and his friend Henry Oaf were brought to life by the genius Professor Hardacre, and have spent all their days in a castle deep in the woods, far from humankind. But when the Professor dies and his pompous nephew comes to take over the laboratory, they soon find out that his sights are set not on scientific discovery, but personal glory. And Henry is his next experiment. Can Stitch and Henry escape his clutches and make their way in a world they were never built for – and may never be ready for them?

Stitch is a story about identity, friendship, and the pursuit of freedom in a world that struggles to understand or accept differences. Stitch and Henry, far from monstrous, grapple with their unique origins and their place in a society that may never be ready to accept them. Their world is thrown into danger when the Professor passes away, leaving them vulnerable to the desires of his nephew, a man shrouded in ambition and moral ambiguity. Tension, terror, escape, and a quest for a place to call home follow.

Happy reading!