The joy of sharing Tolkien with kids

I had a great time reading The Hobbit to Sean for the first time, years ago.

Now I get to repeat that fun by reading it to Ethan (now 8 years old). The Hobbit is a great read-aloud book for young kids of a nerdy persuasion. The reading level is a bit too high for them to read on their own, yet they can comprehend it just fine if you read it to them. And Tolkien’s language is wonderful when read aloud.

Ethan was hooked right from the opening pages. Every evening, after I finished a chapter (and these are long chapters), he begged for another one, and when I refused, citing my dry throat, he would read as much of the next chapter himself as he could manage, despite its difficulty.

When we were nearly finished with the book, I let him watch the animated movie, and he loved it. He’s watched it several more times since. And of course we’ve watched the trailer for the new movie that’s coming in December.

Ethan, growing up in this household, has been hearing bits and pieces of Lords of the Rings for years, and suddenly he had all sorts of questions for Sean and me. Who is Saruman? Where did the ring come from? Why is it so important? Etc.

So I told him he and Sean and I would sit down and watch “Fellowship of the Ring” (the movie) as far as we could make it until it got too scary for him. We’ve gotten as far as the hobbits meeting up with Strider. Now the boys are away for the weekend, and we’ll pick it up again soon.

Ethan is absolutely loving it. This is one of the most fun parts of parenthood.

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2 Responses to The joy of sharing Tolkien with kids

  1. Sounds like fun. I’d never thought of reading The Hobbit aloud. I’d only read it silently to myself. And kids with nerdy persuasions, hmm, I wonder if that runs in families. It certainly does in mine. 🙂

    • Amy Raby says:

      It definitely runs in families!

      I think the Hobbit reads very nicely aloud. It rolls off the tongue beautifully, and the dialogue is especially fun to deliver.

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