Before there was the movie (or right now two, and next year even three), there was the Book - The Hobbit. Written by J.R.R. Tolkien, published by George Allen & Unwin in 1937. And why? Because the proof reader of the book, Rayner Unwin, aged 10, liked the book. He gave it the okay because he thought the book was entertaining for kids and the images and map in the book helped also.
What a great way to give a childrens book a go. Let your kid read it, and if they like it, it is okay.
And it actually is a childrens book. Hard to believe when you have seen the first two movies, because they are not a typical Disney movie.
The book starts with the very famous line: "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.". This Hobbit is Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who has never any adventures. But Gandalf, the wizard thinks he can use an adventure and sets it up so 13 dwarves come together at Bilbo's house and take him with them on a quest to their homeland, Erebor. To reclaim it from Smaug the dragon, who has taken it, together with all the treasures inside.
As if that isn't already exciting enough. On their way they encounter trolls (with a talking purse), goblins, get rescued by eagles, sleep in the home of a skin changer (man and bear), get lost in an elvenwood, almost eaten by spiders, trapped in the dungeons of the elvenking, have to escape in barrels to a lake city. And than find a way inside a mountain where there is a live dragon.
The books is a classical heroes adventure. To set out, get in trouble, with some help get out of the trouble, and in the end, all ends well. With a narrator, telling the reader what is actually happening, what Bilbo is thinking or what the dwarves are actually doing.
An exciting book, fun to read, even for adults. And if you want to get an easy introduction into the world of Middle-earth, start here!