Having fond memories of The Hobbit, which as I read as a young teen in the late 70's, I was eager to read it to my own children - ages 9 & 10. The kids enjoyed the story, but observed that it was all rather predictable. The Hobbit wasn't written well ... I found myself rearranging numerous sentences as I went along. The most positive aspects of the book are the imagery of the landscapes and the sense of adventure that Tolkien evokes. In his time Tolkien was certainly a pioneer and he produced something quite unique (in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings). However, 21st Century children have exposure to much more richly crafted epic fairytales. Whilst it's good to read a story before watching the movie, The Hobbit might well be the exception: it's one book that would certainly benefit from a comprehensive rewrite.
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