Saturday, April 5, 2014

Teen Review: The Hobbit

The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, is a fantasy novel that is 310 pages long. It is the prelude to the Lord of the Rings series. I would recommend this book to people of all ages, although ideally for kids/teens. The book is about a group of 14 people--12 dwarves, a hobbit, and a wizard--who set out on a journey to take the dwarves' former home back from a dragon named Smaug. The dwarves’ kin used to live in the Lonely Mountain, mining an immensely large amount of gold and jewels. But the jewels attracted the dragon, who flew to the mountain and drove all the dwarves out. Twelve of the remaining dwarves have recruited a Hobbit to accompany them on their journey to act as a burglar.

The book must have been very well planned and thought out, because there are many different species and places in the world of Middle-earth. The book takes place in an entirely different, big world that is only partially explored in this book. The plot is also very interesting, including mini adventures within the one big over all adventure. The reader will always be entertained, because there is always action, whether it is battling orcs or trekking through an enchanted forest.

The writing style, though, is not very child friendly at times. Sometimes the author lacks fluency and randomly mentions things that have nothing to do with the plot. For example, in the middle of Gandalf (the wizard) trying to persuade Bilbo to go on the journey, there is a random paragraph that mentions Bilbo’s heritage. Another problem with Tolkien's writing is that there are rather large time jumps. It will take the author a chapter to describe the events of one day, and then he will gloss over the events of the next week in one paragraph with almost no description. This can get pretty annoying after a while.

Other than these minor complaints, I found The Hobbit  to be a mesmerizing book that never stops entertaining the reader. The setting is completely original, creating a world full of surprises. People still try to understand the secrets of Middle-earth. I rate this book 4/5 due to minor technical difficulties. Read this book and you will not be disappointed.

Reviewed by DS, Grade 8

Editor's note: If you like this book, you might want to explore other books about it at the library. For instance, The Art of the Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, features all the illustrations that Tolkien made for the book. The Complete Tolkien Companion, by J. E. A. Tyler, explores its lands, legends, histories, languages, and people. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, by Robert Foster, is the A-to-Z guide to Tolkien's universe. And, of course, there's always the movie.


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