Now that The Hobbit—the much-anticipated prequel to the Lord of the Rings—is in theaters, I thought Andy Naselli’s blog post from October of this year might be helpful to parents thinking about how to introduce Tolkien to their children.
After living in Narnia with our daughter for about the first half of the year, we moved to Middle-earth.
C. S. Lewis would approve. He wrote this in a letter to a girl named Lucy in 1957:
I am so glad you like the Narnian stories and it was nice of you to write and tell me. . . . Do you know Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings? I think you w[oul]d. like it. (C. S. Lewis Letters to Children [ed. Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead; New York: Macmillan, 1985], 75.)
We’ve lived in Middle-earth for about four months, and it’s been a delight.
Middle-earth has been more challenging than Narnia since only one of J. R. R. Tolkien’s four books is for children (The Hobbit) and since The Lord of the Rings trilogy(The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) is so long and complicated. But we persevered, and it was worth it.
You can read all of Naselli’s suggestions here.