Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien
For ages 12 and up
Performed/read by: Rob Inglis
Recorded Books, 1991   ISBN: 978-0788737275

Bilbo Baggins is very happy with his quiet life in his comfortable hobbit hole under the hill. Meals are often, abundant, and predictable and everything is as it should be. He is very discombobulated therefore when Gandalf the wizard appears on his doorstep one day and he tries to get rid of the disturbing old man as quickly as possible. He is even more horrified when thirteen dwarves and Gandalf arrive for tea the very next day. It would appear that they want Bilbo to join them on an adventure. The dwarves want to get back the treasure that Smaug the dragon has stolen and they want to hire Bilbo to help them and to be their burglar. Bilbo very much wants to refuse and yet somehow this fails to happen. Before he quite knows what is happening, Bilbo is riding on a pony heading off on an adventure which may very well be his undoing.

As it happens, the dwarves are very lucky that they took Bilbo with them for he saves their lives several times over. Not only is he quick thinking and brave, but he also finds a ring of invisibility which makes it possible for him to do all kinds of remarkable things.

In the end quiet little Mr. Baggins does indeed fulfill his role as the expedition burglar. He also becomes very fond of a side of himself which he otherwise would never have discovered, a side of himself which is able to out riddle an evil little cave-dwelling monster, and which can fight huge spiders. It is a side of himself which can rescue his friends from captivity and which can talk to a huge dragon. It is also a side of himself which is able to earn the respect and admiration of elves, dwarves, and men alike.

This is a tale which has truly stood the test of time and which has delighted readers of all ages since its publication in 1937. Tolkien is without a doubt one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time.