Book Review: The Hobbit

Rating: ★★★★★

The Hobbit, like The Chronicles of Narnia, defines the standard for children’s fantasy literature.  Bilbo is one of the endearing hobbit-folk who populate Tolkien’s imaginative world of Middle Earth.  One day he is compelled by the wizard Gandalf to leave his comfortable home and set out with thirteen dwarves on a quest whose ramifications he does not fully understand.  This reluctant “burgler” plays a crucial role in the quest as the group faces monstrous orcs, giant spiders, wolves, and worse, until finally Bilbo comes face to face with the dread dragon Smaug.  Throughout his adventures, Bilbo’s true character emerges and the reader comes to understand that underneath his soft exterior there is a steely center of courage and the will to do what is right.

Tolkien’s works have attained classic status through their excellent story quality, deeply coherent story world, and a perceptive eye toward human nature.  Christian thinkers especially appreciate that Tolkien’s stories, while not allegorical, are firmly rooted in a Christian view of the world.

The Hobbit forms an important prelude to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but is written for a younger audience and may be a better choice for reading aloud, since its prose is simpler and includes enjoyable repetitive elements in its storytelling style.

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Publication Information: Tolkien, J.R.R.. Hobbit, The. . . ISBN: 0618260307.
Categories: 5 Stars, Age 08-12, Amblesideonline, Book Tree, Books Children Love, Books That Build Character,, Honey For a Child's Heart, NEH Summertime Favorites, Read-Aloud Handbook, What Stories Does My Son Need, World Books That Show, World Nifty 50
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Posted on August 1, 2009

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