Book Summary: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
(9th grade +)
“The Hobbit” is a timeless classic by J.R.R. Tolkien, the same author of the critically acclaimed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In this review, we will explore the captivating journey of Bilbo Baggins and his companions as they embark on a quest to reclaim their stolen treasure from the dragon Smaug. We will also examine the themes and motifs that make this book a true masterpiece of literature.
Summary of The Hobbit:
“The Hobbit” is a story that takes place in Middle-earth, a magical realm of wizards, hobbits, dwarves, elves, and other creatures. The protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, is a hobbit who is content living in his cozy home in the Shire, until one day he is visited by a wizard named Gandalf and a group of 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield. They convince Bilbo to join them on a quest to reclaim their homeland and treasure, which was taken by the dragon Smaug.
Throughout their journey, Bilbo and his companions encounter many challenges and obstacles, including goblins, trolls, giant spiders, and the treacherous dragon Smaug. Despite the odds against them, they display bravery, loyalty, and perseverance in their quest.
The themes explored in the book include the power of courage and friendship, the value of home and family, and the dangers of greed and pride. These themes are woven throughout the book in a way that is both engaging and thought-provoking.
One of the strengths of “The Hobbit” is Tolkien’s vivid and intricate world-building. Middle-earth is a fully realized and immersive world, complete with detailed maps, histories, and languages. Tolkien’s use of literary devices, such as foreshadowing, symbolism, and imagery, further enhances the richness of the story.
Another notable aspect of the book is the development of its characters. Bilbo, in particular, undergoes a significant transformation throughout the story, from a timid and unassuming hobbit to a courageous and resourceful hero. The supporting characters, including the dwarves and Gandalf, also have distinct personalities and motivations that add depth to the story.
“The Hobbit” is unique in its ability to appeal to both children and adults. The book’s whimsical tone and sense of adventure make it an enjoyable read for younger audiences, while its deeper themes and complex characters make it a rewarding and insightful read for adults.
Fans of fantasy literature, particularly those who enjoy high fantasy and epic quests, will undoubtedly enjoy “The Hobbit”. It is a timeless classic that has captivated readers for generations and continues to be beloved by fans of all ages.
In comparison to Tolkien’s other works, “The Hobbit” is a more accessible and lighthearted read than “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. However, it still features many of the same elements that make Tolkien’s writing so compelling, including rich world-building, complex characters, and enduring themes.
Overall, “The Hobbit” is a must-read for anyone who appreciates fantasy literature and epic storytelling.
Possible questions for a high school test:
What is the name of the protagonist in “The Hobbit”?
Answer: Bilbo Baggins.
What is the name of the dragon that Bilbo and the dwarves must defeat?
Who is the author of “The Hobbit”?
Answer: J.R.R. Tolkien.
“J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit Summary.” SparkNotes, SparkNotes, 2021, www.sparknotes.com/lit/the-hobbit/summary/.
“The Hobbit Book Review.” Common Sense Media, Common Sense Media, 2021, www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/the-hobbit.
Awards and accolades:
“The Hobbit” has won several awards, including the New York Herald Tribune Children’s Spring Book Festival Award in 1938 and the Carnegie Medal in Literature in 1939. It has also been a best-seller since its publication and has sold millions of copies worldwide.
Details about the book:
Number of pages: 304
Publisher name: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
First publish date: September 21, 1937
“The Hobbit” has been adapted into multiple films, including a trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.
The Guardian: “Tolkien’s fantasy world of Middle Earth is just as vivid and engaging in The Hobbit as it is in The Lord of the Rings, and it’s a joy to explore it with Bilbo and the dwarves.”
The New York Times: “The Hobbit is a flawless masterpiece that blends adventure, humor, and heart into a single, timeless tale.”
Where to buy the book:
“The Hobbit” can be purchased on www.bookshop.org
“The Hobbit” is the first book in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth series, followed by “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The series can be purchased on www.bookshop.org
Other books by the author, Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien has authored several other books set in Middle-earth, including “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Silmarillion,” “Unfinished Tales,” “The Children of Húrin,” “Beren and Lúthien,” and “The Fall of Gondolin.” He has also published academic works on language and mythology, such as “The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays” and “On Fairy-stories.”