Reading The Hobbit to the Kidlets; Great Memories

I am pleased to report that it seems we timed the first family reading of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit perfectly. We've read most of the Chronicles of Narnia, saving The Magician's Nephew and The Last Battle for last, as is appropriate. After finishing The Horse and His Boy we rolled into The Hobbit, and I'm pleased as punch to report that all four of the kids are loving it.

Our seven-year-old is definitely old enough, perhaps past time. The six-year-old is at the perfect age. I was not at all sure about the younger two (four and two), but it's working out perfectly. George (4) has been well prepared by his siblings and the reading of The Chronicles, and Ward, the two-year-old, is greatly helped by the wonderful pictures in the edition we're reading from. They all sit spellbound for the entire reading, and (as much as I love love love Lewis) are visibly more engaged with this book.

I can't wait to start reading them the Trilogy...


One of my fondest memories as a child was from our time in a tiny apartment in Walnut Creek, California, when I was twelve or thirteen. We had only recently moved to the United States, and after only a few months, our house had burned down in the huge Berkeley Hills fire of 1991 (when I went to look it up on wikipedia, the "Berkeley Fire" was a fire that burned in 1923, while the fire our house burned down in was very dramatically named the "Oakland Firestorm of 1991"). Nearly 4,000 homes were destroyed in the fire, and 25 people died, most very near where we lived. The fire had started only a few blocks from our house, and spread fast enough to trap people on the roads, as the Santa Anna winds swept the fires through the eucalyptus forests. We were at church that Sunday morning. The sky outside suddenly went very dark, but it wasn't until we eventually stepped outside that we realized clouds weren't darkening the sky. Instead, a huge column of smoke hid the sun.

I saw many amazing and formative things over the next few days and weeks. But I will always fondly remember the evenings we spent in the tiny apartment where we relocated, wearing clothes that had been donated or purchased with FEMA money, reading through the Trilogy of the Rings with my mother. Those had to have been terribly difficult times for my parents, but I couldn't really tell, and the time spent reading every night was wonderful. We had read the Trilogy together before, and by then I had read it myself several times. It didn't matter; despite that, or perhaps a little bit because of that, it remains my favorite memory of reading together as a family.

By the way, buy Weber grills. Steel foundations literally melted in the fire. The only recognizable things through much of the ruin were chimneys and Weber grill bowls.


  1. Who wouldn't like a reading of the Hobbit while the world burns around you? It would be as if the tales in the book explain the reality outside the door... and the good guys win!

  2. Great times! Wonderful moments.


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