The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937, 2002)

Genre: Fantasy
Interest Level: Age 10 and up.
The HobbitI decided to read this while on holiday between Christmas and New Year’s, after many years of feeling rather left out of lunchtime conversations about this fan favourite. Anyone who knows me well knows what a challenge it was to pick it up – I firmly explain that I’m not a fan of fantasy, and don’t like stories with dragons, trolls, elves, or magic.
Apparently I’m quite mistaken about my taste for fantasy! I loved this story from the start to the very last page. What a delightful adventure, with astonishing description, characterization and a simple plot (a quest for gold) that together deliver a thoroughly satisfying story for young and old. I know many parents read this to children younger than 10, but for solo reading, I think 10 is a good bet, and even then it will be difficult reading for some young readers. The pacing is just right, and I regularly consulted the requisite map (de rigueur for fantasy books) as I read through the story, trying to trace the group’s path to Lonely Mountain and Long Lake, where they battled spiders and soared with eagles. I’m so glad I overcame my distaste for the idea of this book, and I cheerfully admit that perhaps I do like fantasy after all.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5907.The_Hobbit

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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