I will admit to trying to read The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien many, many times as a preteen and a teenager. I could not get through the first chapter.
It wasn’t until I was an adult, and took a class on Tolkien, that I was able to force myself through the book.
So why am I recommending it?
Because it is a classic! And once you get used to Tolkien’s writing style, you will enjoy it as much as I do now. Promise!
The key to reading The Hobbit is to know when to read and when to skim. Tolkien loved genealogy, mythical tales and history so his stories are steeped in them. He also insists on lengthy descriptive passages, which can be read quickly once you recognize what he’s doing.
But Tolkien is also a master of action, suspense and unexpected plot twists. If you don’t read the book, you will miss out on his epic storytelling.
One way to enjoy The Hobbit is by listening to it. There is only one unabridged version of the book, and I highly recommend it. My children (at grades 4th – 6th) and I listened to it and even they admitted to enjoying this classic.
Before you see the movie, read the book. It’s much better!
Recommended ages 9 (as a read-aloud or audiobook) and up.