Title: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Year published: 1937
Publisher: Mariner Books
Number of pages: 320
Recommended age: 8+
Summary (from Amazon): Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
1. What is the story about? The Hobbit is about a hobbit named Bilbo. Bilbo embarks on a dangerous adventure. On his way through the Misty Mountains, Bilbo finds a extraordinary ring. He makes his way through Mirkwood forest to the Lonely Mountain where the treacherous dragon Smaug lives with his treasures. Being a burglar is hard for small Bilbo. But will he defeat Smaug?
2. Who is/are the main character(s)? Can you relate to them? Do you like them? How are they like you or not? The main characters are Bilbo, a hobbit, Gandalf the Wizard, and 13 dwarves. They are all mythical creatures so I can’t really relate to them. While Bilbo was nervous about having an adventure, I like to go on adventures.
3. Have you experienced anything in your life like what happens in this book? What happened? No, I haven’t gone on any quests (yet).
4. What is your favorite part of the story? I really liked the Battle of the Five Armies because the battles are very exciting to me.
5. What is your least favorite part of the story? I didn’t like when they were in Mirkwood forest and met the spiders, they really creeped me out!
6. How did the story make you feel? I found the story very touching because of the friendships that formed between all the characters and it must have felt good when they completed their quest.
7. What lessons did you learn from this story? Don’t say that you don’t like something if you have never tried it.
8. Who do you think would like this book? If you like books with a lot of adventures in them, you’ll love The Hobbit!
Daughter's Rating: ★★★★★
What it’s about: The Hobbit is a classic tale that showcases teamwork, courage, and a thirst for adventure. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit that really isn’t interested in any adventures, but Gandalf the Wizard knows there is something special about this hobbit and therefore undertakes to entice him to take part in a quest. The dwarves have been thrown out of their home by the evil dragon Smaug, and seek to regain their rightful place under the mountain…as well as the treasure that lies there. But, they need a burglar to help them sneak past the dragon and defeat him. Bilbo, unfamiliar with the art of burglary, is recruited to join them on this adventure. On the way to the Lonely Mountain, they encounter many obstacles including trolls, goblins, wolves, and spiders. Bilbo also manages to acquire a magical ring that gives him special powers. While the ring plays an important role in helping Bilbo in his adventures, the real story of the ring is saved for Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. As a reader, you really come to cheer for Bilbo, the unlikely hero, who time and again shows his courage and how even the smallest of us can make a difference.
What I liked and disliked about it: I loved this story as a child, when I reread it as an adult, and even more when I read it together with my daughter. It has all the themes that make a book exciting: interesting characters, a stimulating adventure, friendship, teamwork, humor, and the warmth and joy of good triumphing over evil.
My bottom line: I wholeheartedly recommend The Hobbit to anyone that has shown an interest in fantasy. I think it is a great step into the genre for boys and girls alike, probably from about age eight and up, depending on the child. There is violence and some quite intimidating creatures. Another great way to enjoy the book is by listening to the audio version.
Mom's Rating: ★★★★★
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