The Elegance of the Hedgehog is a very philosophical novel that is unable to answer the question, “If humans are simply animals, why do we appreciate beauty?” The book is a paean to intellectualism. It also explores why we hide who we are from others. All of this is wrapped up in the story of a middle-aged concierge and a twelve year-old cynic. It is a well-told, thoughtful story, and although the philosophy probably appeals to many people, it is largely empty and lacking of real answers. I have rated it PG, but I doubt many teens would enjoy it.