If you are a Catholic adult, Bilbo's Journey by Joseph Pearce is the book for you! To be honest, I have never actually read The Hobbit and was afraid that I would be lost while reading this book illuminating the Christian principles behind The Hobbit but I was very pleased to find out that I still learned a lot of information. As a matter of fact, it prompted me to jump onto Amazon and order a copy of The Hobbit for my Kindle! I am also planning to take my 7th grader to see the upcoming release in the theaters.
Bilbo's Journey takes the reader from the beginning of Bilbo Baggins' journey to the unlikely ending while consistently offering new insight into the virtuous behavior that the main character begins to exhibit by the end of the novel. Pearce also brings the readers attention to points in the novel when Divine Providence is working in the lives of the adventurous hobbits. This then allows the reader to see the book, The Hobbit as Tolkien intended, as a book about self-sacrifice for the love of others.
As I mentioned before, I was so engrossed in this book that I decided that I just had to purchase The Hobbit. My 7th grade son just finished reading this book in class and I am happy to now be prepared to take something he learned in public school and connect it with our Catholic faith (especially since the teacher in this class thinks Catholics don't pray to Jesus but to Mary, but I digress...). Since this is a classic book and I hear it is pretty simplistic although it is very deep so it is a great idea for parents to read Bilbo's Journey and then read The Hobbit (or see the movie) together with their children, using this as an opportunity to discuss virtuous behavior and true friendship.I promise, this book will not disappoint!