The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Grace: Much to my boyfriend’s chagrin, I have to admit that I am a huge geek. I practically grew up watching Star Wars and reading Lord of the Rings. I remember reading The Hobbit in third grade and loving it so much that I was off the wall ecstatic when I received The Lord of the Rings trilogy a few years later. I still own my original set and I’m surprise they’ve held up over the years since I’ve read those books so many times.

Even if your child doesn’t have a fondness for all things fantasy and science fiction, I would highly recommend buying a Lord of the Rings box set as a gift. I don’t actually like to read science fiction or fantasy novels, but this trilogy is completely different. Written by J.R.R. Tolkien, who was famous for his critical essay on Beowulf (it’s still used today and if you study Beowulf, which you probably will, you’ll end up reading this essay), The Lord of the Rings completely creates a new world. I remember getting lost in Tolkien’s Middle Earth because he was so detail oriented; he even wrote other books and short stories that built up Middle Earth’s history, almost as if it were real.

I know that is is very difficult to get kids to read these days, especially with the temptation of video games and television, but reading is critical to a child’s development. According to the National Institute for Literacy, children ages 9-17 who read for fun could had a much higher literacy and comprehension level than children who did not read outside the classroom.

I would highly recommend The Lord of the Rings trilogy set not only because it was an essential part of my childhood, but because it’s a gift that has longevity. Clothes, toys, and other gadgets are used for maybe a year, but books, especially the classics, can be read and used for years to come.

Dan: I am OBSESSED with Lord of the Rings (LOTR for us fans)! I could not agree more with your gift recommendation. When I was younger, all I did was watch television and really hated reading to be honest. It was not until I was immersed into Lord of the Rings by my older sister that I started to turn the tube off. A lot of people assume that the series is just another mindless science fiction story with monsters and elves and the like; but it really is not. Lord of the Rings is written in a tone of greater difficulty than a beach novel and really provides an array of symbolism and metaphors that can be found in other great classics such as The Great Gatsby and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I think I am going to go pick up Return of the King right now and immerse myself in the world of Middle Earth for the afternoon!

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