Hobbits lived “in a hole under the ground.”
At the age of eight, I read The Hobbit for the first time, and it was immediately gripping because of the opening line. One of the most popular fantasy characters of all time is now the inspiration for countless books like The Hobbit.
Despite his shortcomings (grumpy, a bit useless at first), Bilbo quickly wins your heart. It’s difficult to pick a favorite moment in the film because there are so many great ones (such as when he tricks three hungry trolls into eating him, when he frees a magic ring from Gollum, when he faces off against Smaug).
The Lord of the Rings prelude was written with children in mind, and it’s still a treat to read today. However, if you look beyond the borders of Middle Earth, you’ll find other places with similar charms.
Books like The Hobbit
Kiki’s Delivery Service, by Eiko Kadono
It’s hard to imagine a better fantasy blanket than The Hobbit. This is the first in a series about a young witch who sets out on her own to find a town where she can be useful. Witches help people, so Kiki and her cynically hilarious black cat arrive in a seaside town determined to do the same.
In the end, she ends up launching a business that delivers packages on her broomstick to customers. Now Kiki’s delivery service has been established. It’s difficult to pin down exactly what makes this novel so endearing. On the surface, the story appears simple. Characters like Kiki stand out like warm rays of sunshine.
One of Kiki’s many adventures is saving the town’s New Year’s marathon by flying her broomstick through the air. Originally published in 1985, Kadono’s story became popular in her native Japan before being made into an animated feature by Studio Ghibli.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is warm and entertaining. For both children and adults, this is an excellent choice.
The Dyerville Tales, by M.P. Kozlowsky
In books like The Hobbit, the ‘quest’ theme is prevalent. Children’s fantasy series The Dyerville Tales is sharp and exciting, and it treats its intended audience with the deference they deserve. As a result of it, the novel shines forth. The letter Vince Elgin receives informing him of the death of his grandfather leads him to believe that his father is still alive.
He doesn’t know why, but he has a feeling his father will be in Dyerville for his grandfather’s funeral. To find his father, Vince has only his grandfather’s diary to rely on. It’s filled with tales of his grandfather’s youth, which include stories of giants and other fantastical creatures.
He begins to realize that the stories in the journal may be closer to reality than he had previously assumed. You’ll find yourself unable to put the book down until you’ve finished it.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
Witches can be found in many books like The Hobbit and Xan from The Girl Who Drank the Moon is one of the more memorable ones.
With the help of Glerk, a wise swamp monster, and Fyrian, a ‘Perfectly Tiny Dragon,’ Xan creates a magical home for herself and her friends. Luna, one of many abandoned children by the residents of the nearby town, Protectorate, is protected by the two of them.
Xan has been rescuing the abandoned children for years before sending them off to welcoming families on the other side of the forest. Luna, on the other hand, was accidentally given moonlight by Xan when she was a baby, resulting in her being imbued with powerful magic that she had to keep hidden until she was old enough to use it. Now the magic is coming out and a young local man is out to prove himself by killing the witch.
Do the creatures who have protected Luna have what it takes to protect them? You already know the answer, but the joy comes from reading it. In this book, magic and kindness unite against ignorance and deception. A wonderful gift for a young reader.
The Magician’s Nephew (Book 1 of The Chronicles of Narnia), by C.S. Lewis
Along with The Horse and His Boy and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, this is a book that doesn’t get as much attention as The Hobbit. A pity, because The Magician’s Nephew is one of Lewis’s best Narnia books.
Even more amazing than their journey to Narnia is Digory and Polly getting accidentally thrown into “somewhere else” by his eccentric Uncle Andrew (who thinks he’s a magician). Scenes that are both beautiful and frightful can be found here. It’s hard to forget Digory and Polly finding themselves in a surreal forest full of pools that turn out to be portals to other worlds.
The scene where Digory and Polly enter a ruined palace in the land of Charn, to find frozen life-like statues along with a bell and a hammer inviting the finder to strike. It’s amazing how many aspects of this book echo Bilbo Baggins’ journeys through Middle Earth. The fact that Tolkien and Lewis were close friends and coworkers is perhaps not a surprise.
Throughout the Narnia series, Lewis is frequently accused of preaching Christian theology. Narnia, on the other hand, is far better written, more imaginative, and less pious than any biblical text. Aslan, for example, is essentially Jesus in Narnia.
Tentpole of fantasy for children, The Magician’s Nephew is full of magic, enchantment, and baddies.
The Nethergrim, by Matthew Jabin
In works like The Hobbit, a magical quest to defeat evil and save the day is a recurring theme. As with all great stories, it is the writing that sets them apart, and The Nethergrim is an excellent example of this.
The people of Moorvale know that the Nethergrim has returned when a group of children goes missing. As a relative of the missing, Edmund is eager to assist. Edmund, on the other hand, is still a novice magician who has difficulty casting even the most basic of spells. In spite of their fears, he and his friends set out to find the children and, if necessary, fight an evil that is beyond their understanding.
While Edmund is often compared to Bilbo Baggins, others argue that Harry Potter bears a more striking resemblance to him. Edmund, on the other hand, makes a lot of mistakes and isn’t as good as Harry when it comes to saving the day. Edmund, on the other hand, comes to terms with this.
None of the above applies to him. With no help from his father and learning magic on the side, he has become a powerful sorcerer. Both his slave and his stable master’s daughter come from similar humble beginnings, and so do the rest of his friends.
In this story, there are no “get out of jail free” cards. It’s Edmund and his ragtag group of ill-prepared pals who make it interesting.