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The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien: Review

Bilbo Baggins is a very respectable hobbit: he lives in a fine, cozy hobbit-hole and never does anything unexpected. So when the wizard Gandalf and a party of 13 dwarves select him for an adventure, Mr. Baggins steps quite suddenly and jarringly into a quest to reclaim a hoard of gold from the clutches of the wicked dragon Smaug.

A journey of perils lies ahead, but there is more to Bilbo Baggins than anyone expects, and one should never underestimate the cleverness—or courage—of a hobbit.

It's an oldie, but a goodie—I first read Tolkien's, The Hobbit, as a novel study in seventh grade, and re-reading it almost five years later, still recognize some of the quotes I'd used for numerous english assignments. Once again, I am reminded of how timeless and charming this classic truly is.

Tolkien's writing is candid, often funny, and extremely detailed—he takes great pains to paint a vivid image of his characters' surroundings at all times. Bilbo is a brave and good-hearted little protagonist for ordinary folk like you and I to relate to, and perhaps that's why this story still resonates. If a hobbit can be loyal and selfless and brave, after all, who's to say we can't, too?

Content Notes: The Hobbit boasts no profanity or mature content, and no gory/gratuitous violence. Even magic is kept to a minimum—there's probably more to be found in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's a family-friendly adventure of friendship, courage, the dangers of greed, and the ability of a little bravery to accomplish great things.

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