Is The Hobbit for children while The Lord of the Rings is for adults?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Like some of the other posts, I loathe the very idea of 'dismissing' any book on the terms that it might be considered children's literature.  The strongest market right now in book sales is the young adult genre, and frankly, many of the titles and series over there are vastly more appealing than some on the 'adult' side. 

The bottom line is that The Hobbitis more accessible literature in terms of reading level, but that in no way discounts its value as a text for higher level discussion.  I have often thought that one of the best strategies when teaching higher level analysis to my students is to choose a book that may have a more accessible reading level.  That way the students can focus on the higher level analysis, rather than the old "Umm...what did I just read? I didn't understand any of that!"

 

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rskardal eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I tend to think that The Hobbit is lighter in tone than The Lord of the Rings, but I'll admit that it's been a while since I've read both. I think ask996 makes a good point that there's little reason to "dismiss" children's literature, particularly today when many of our most popular stories -- Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Hunger Games -- are marketed to children.

If we wanted to break any barriers between the two works, we could focus on similarities. For example, both works discuss heroism, and in both works, the hero at first appears very unheroic, but both struggle nevertheless. Both works have their roots in Anglo-Saxon literature. Both works portray the Shire is idyllic.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Whether or not people should dismiss children's books, they often do.  This is one of the reasons for the perennial argument about whether or not books about a wizard named Harry Potter are literature.  I often find that when I discuss certain books with college or AP English teachers I get, "THAT is a children's book!"  End of discussion, no point talking about it.  As a middle and high school teacher, this annoys me.  That is one of the reasons why I posted this question.

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ask996 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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First of all, it bothers me a bit that the term "dismiss it as a children's book" is being bandied about. This seems to imply that "children's" literature is less significant than "adult" literature. That...

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