What better way to begin a week of YA classics than with what is considered to be the two definitive classics for teens—The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
The two work together to create an amazing universe which has captured the imagination of many throughout the years. J.R.R. Tolkien did not originally create his masterpiece during the first half of the 20th century for young adults. In fact, the idea of a young adult genre was not even a glimmer in the literary world’s eye at this time. However, the reading level of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are clearly well suited for modern young adults. The Hobbit specifically is ideal for younger teens while Lord of the Rings is for more advanced teen reading levels.
I also think it is important to note that I strongly believe in reading The Hobbit before The Lord of the Rings. Those who were introduced to the works through the movies and decided to read The Lord of the Rings first due to their attachment to the story frequently complain of the slow-moving, journey-based nature of the book when the film had so much action. By reading The Hobbit first many can become more attached to the realm of Middle Earth and embrace the more fantastical elements of this literary universe before getting into the more intense and dramatic story of The Lord of the Rings.
Reading these classics can help YA literature lovers to form a strong bond to the literary foundations of the majority of modern fantasy. Overall, the two books should not be missed by those who enjoy YA lit. Individuals who enjoy this universe greatly can take things even further by reading The Silmarillion, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, and The Unfinished Tales.
Bring It to Life (BITL)!
I hope to include this particular section to every post I make on YA Awesomesauce. It will be used to show the truth that many YA lovers already know—these books are more than simple text; they are an experience.
BITL will show just how easy it can be to make each book reviewed and listed on this site into a special real-life experience. It will feature DIY crafts, recipes, or event plans.
For The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the best BITL feature would be a hobbit party—naturally!
A hobbit party can be the perfect event for a group reading of the books, having a movie marathon (extended versions of course), or even a LAN-party for playing The Lord of the Rings Online.
- Food, food, food, and more food
You cannot have a hobbit party without food. There are many options for this element of the event. The foods can be laid out according to the hobbit daily meal calendar (First Breakfast, Second Breakfast, etc), or it can be a simple potluck-style buffet with favorite hobbit foods (MUSHROOMS, blackberry tarts or pies, fresh baked bread, cheese, honey, pinwheel sandwiches, and hearty soups). Drinks can include tea, coffee, and apple cider.
Hobbits love their revelry. Having plenty of games available for guests is the heart of a good hobbit party. Common selections include horseshoes, beanbag throwing, spoon and egg race, three legged race, and sack jumping. There should be time left at the end of the evening for rhyming games, songs, limericks, and RIDDLES! Try to ask guests to come to the party with some riddles that they think will be stumpers.
- General Fun
Hobbit feet can be made very simply with the application of fuzzy brown yarn to flip flops. Have then available for guests to put on once they enter the party.
Place a sign stating ‘Speak friend and enter’ on your front door!
A hobbit party can be great for Hobbit Day (September 22nd) and the release dates of the next two Hobbit movies.