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Myth Maker: J. R. R. Tolkien Hardcover – September 30, 1996

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6?This serviceable biography gives a straightforward introduction to the life of the man who created the world of The Hobbit. Although brief, the book covers pertinent events. Tolkien spent the first few years of his life in South Africa, where his father worked for the Bank of Africa. When he was three, Tolkien, or Ronald, as he was called, went to England with his mother and brother for what was supposed to be a visit. While they were away, Tolkien's father died, leaving his wife nearly destitute. Five years later, she died. Tolkien was eventually sent to live in a boarding house for orphans, where he met his future wife. After a brief teaching post at Leeds University, he taught at Oxford for the rest of his career. Because Tolkien's life lacked the drama of a Fitzgerald or a Hemingway, this biography often seems slow moving. It does, however, give some interesting insight into the power Tolkien's work has had on people over the years, and gives addresses of Tolkien groups operating both in the U. S. and Great Britain. Libraries that have David R. Collins's J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of Fantasy (Lerner, 1992) may want to pass on this one, since the books are similar in scope and content. Otherwise, buy as demand suggests.?Melissa Hudak, North Suburban District Library, Roscoe, IL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Long before Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling, there were Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and J. R. R. Tolkien. For young readers lucky enough to be familiar with the print versions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this will bring the creator to vivid life. Where did Tolkien’s love for the environment come from? And why those three initials? For those not familiar with the works, this might pique their interest; they will at least be surprised to learn that the anticipation for the third volume of The Lord of the Rings rivaled that of the Harry Potter books. The small trim size and general brevity of the book will broaden the audience appeal, though there are no photos save a single black-and-white shot of an elderly Tolkien sitting among gnarled tree roots. The writing is straightforward with equal space given to Tolkien’s poverty-stricken childhood and his time as an Oxford academic and family man. A list of Tolkien’s writings and an index comprise the back matter. Grades 4-7. --Randall Enos --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; 1st edition (September 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152988475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152988470
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,097,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm amazed that the previous reviewer could say the things that he/she says -- criticizing the book as simplistic, etc. -- as the book is obviously not written for an adult audience (as the book's jacket spells out!), and therefore should be evaluated as such. As a book for young Tolkien fans or would-be Tolkien readers, it is a good basic introduction to Tolkien's life without the detail of an adult-level biography like Carpenter's.

Writing a fair review is much easier if you have some notion of a book's intended readership.
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Format: Hardcover
With the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in theaters, many non-readers came to know Frodo Baggins as the hobbit with the eccentric uncle Bilbo Baggins. Wanting to know Bilbo's backstory, either through the new Hobbit trilogy or J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, those same non-readers suddenly became readers. For fans of the novel from the beginning, The Hobbit holds a special place in the hearts of many new, young readers as well as those who grew up with the novel and are now enjoying it on film (well, maybe, but that's a review for my husband Brett Gallman).

In order to fully understand the power of Tolkien's novels, one must understand the man himself. Anne E. Neimark steps forward with an accessible biography of the man who brought hobbits, shires, elves, and orcs to life.
Born John Ronald Reuel Tolkien in England, Tolkien spent most of his childhood in South Africa where he was watched closely by his nurse while his parents were away. Growing up in one of the most exotic lands in the world, any little boy's imagination would run wild, and Tolkien's created all sorts of creatures and languages. Once bitten by a tarantula and still wanting to climb a tree, his passion for accomplishing great feats was never ending.

Read my full review:reviewscomingatya.blogspot.com.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is both easy to read and fascinating. You gain insight into why J. R. R. Tolkien was so fascinated himself with myth and fantasy. The book reveals Tolkien's relationships with his children and describes how he wrote to entertain them and himself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this for my son's 4th grade book share for school because of its length and since it's targeted more for kids. He had no trouble, and it is totally appropriate for children. I read it myself and enjoyed it. I would recommend for anyone who loves The Hobbit and LOTR.
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Format: Hardcover
My 8yo son is very much enjoying this book right now. Though he is not ready to the series he loves the Lord of the Rings movie and has read the Hobbit with an amazing amount of understanding. I am pleased there was a biography available for his age group to introduce him to a great author.
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