29 March 2010

Top 100 Children's Novels: 12-11

Number 12:
The Hobbit,
or There and Back Again
by J R R Tolkien.

Back when I was 11 or thereabouts, living in Michigan, I had a book which was a collection of short stories and of samples from longer works. One of those samples was the first chapter of The Hobbit, telling about a very strange tea party involving said hobbit, a wizard and a small horde of dwarves. When I was 13, my sister bought the new Ballantine editions of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and I read my straight through all four of them. Wonderful stories!

I'm also a fan of the 1977 film version, with Orson Bean as the voice of Bilbo, John Huston as Gandalf and the late, great Richard Boone as Smaug.

And there's a Swedish edition of the book with illustrations by Tove Jansson!

Number 11:
The Westing Game,
by Ellen Raskin.

I missed this one completely until I started reading all of the Newbery winners a few years ago. (It was the 1979 winner.) When I did my summary post on the Newberys, though, I included it in my list of favourites.

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