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The Hobbit: JRR Tolkien - The greatest children's book ever.
on 23 October 2012
JRR Tolkien's `The Hobbit' is, of course, one of the greatest children's books to have been written in the twentieth century. Based on the stories he told to his children and originally published in 1937, it is an almost perfect blend of fantasy, magic and adventure. It follows the adventures of one Bilbo Baggins, as he sets off with thirteen dwarves and a wizard to recover a great treasure stolen from the dwarves by Smaug the dragon. Along the way they get into various scrapes with goblins, trolls, elves, shape shifters and, of course, a dragon. Through a mix of extreme good luck and his own resourcefulness Bilbo comes through all these adventures, only to find things are not as he left them at home.
It's a great story and works on many levels. For the younger reader there is the straight adventure story, which many will find thrilling. For the older reader there is the subtle growth in Bilbo's character, as he changes over the story from a passenger on the expedition to a main player and the person people look to for help. There is a study of human nature, and the effects of greed upon people. In some respects it is a morality play. But for all that, at heart, it is a great entertainment. There is a reason it is still so affectionately regarded by readers world wide of all ages. 5 stars.