Stories That Moved Me: The Hobbit
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I figured that I should start out this segment with my favorite novel, which has had an impact on my life.
I read The Hobbit in 5th grade after watching The Lord of the Rings movies and really loving them (I would later read The Lord of the Rings trilogy in 7th grade). This is an important time where you are starting to leave your childhood behind. Interactions with your peers change, it's your last year of elementary school, puberty starts kicking in. This is when I started to try and figure out who I was and where I might fit in in the world.
This is why I related to Bilbo Baggins so well (still my favorite fictional character ever). He was an ordinary person thrown (somewhat by force) into an adventure that helped to shape who he was and reveal strength and courage that he didn't know he possessed. This gave me hope that even though I was an ordinary person I could one day do amazing things, even if it wasn't on the scale of helping to defeat a dragon and fight in a battle. Bilbo was scared. He was a smart-ass (he tried talking smack to a dragon). He complained (frequently). All things I can relate to. But he was also brave when it mattered, resourceful, loyal (the whole Arkenstone thing aside), curious about the world, kind, funny (the spider scene where he makes up the song makes me laugh every time), and intelligent.
He changes from a complete homebody to someone who enjoys adventure and doesn't care what people think about him. He also learns to appreciate his home and his life.
As a kid in 5th grade I too wanted to become someone who had inner-strength and didn't care what people thought about them while also being kind, brave, smart, and adventurous. And having a sense of humor of course. Bilbo gives me hope now because he was an adult when he went on his adventure which goes to show it's never too late to become who you were meant to be.
Aside from the characters, there's no lack of awesome characters (Gandalf, Beorn, Thorin, Bard, Smaug, Roäc ) the plot is just awesome. So many shenanigans. Giant spiders, riddles in a cave with Gollum, Goblins, being captured by woodland elves, shoving dwarves in barrels and floating them down a river, a dragon, a man that changes into a bear, giant eagles, a talking raven, a big-ass battle, trolls, singing, dwarves unexpectedly showing up at your house, wargs (aka big pissed off wolves), throwing flaming pine cones at said wargs, a wizard, a shiny valuable object called the Arkenstone (such a cool name), a ring that turns you invisible, Erebor aka the lonely mountain (also a cool name/ nickname), Laketown, and I know this list is long but everything is so awesome! The book is also really funny. A lot of the songs are hilarious (I'm glad they kept the "chip the glasses and crack the plates" in the movie and wish they had kept in Bilbo's spider song). Bilbo's antics in general are hilarious.
So all this rambling is to say: The Hobbit is amazing, Tolkien is a genius, and I learned so much from this book. I still continue to, it continues to inspire me. Never lose your sense of adventure.