Time Period: Unspecified medieval period
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit. A hobbit is a short creature who looks human except for his height and his wooly feet. They also do not grow beards and their hair is always curly. They live in comfortable houses dug into hills (called hobbit-holes.) Bilbo is no exception; he lives in a rather nice hole and has a great dislike for adventures. One day a wizard called Gandalf arrives at his porch inquiring whether he should like to take part in a quest. Bilbo declines but invites him to tea, forgetting all about it until Wednesday when Gandalf is supposed to come. Being quite unprepared when someone he expects to be Gandalf arrives at his house, he is shocked to find that it is instead a dwarf. Soon more dwarves arrive and Gandalf with them, and Bilbo learns that the dwarves are on a quest, and that Gandalf has quite ignored his declaration that he does not wish to participate, and soon he is off on a journey to slay a dragon with thirteen dwarves, a wizard and a constant desire to be back in his hole and not attacked by goblins and wolves and trolls and a dragon and the like.
Themes: size matters not, don't underestimate yourself, don't invite strangers to dinner just because you've heard all about them
Recommended age: 10 and up, younger as a read aloud
This book is a children's book and can be read to children under ten; however they probably will have trouble reading it themselves.