The Hobbit: A Summary For Teachers And Students

Title: The Hobbit

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Published: 1937

Genre: Fiction; Fantasy

Word Count: 95022

Suggest Grade Level: 7-12

Reading Level: The book is decodable by readers as early as 4th or 5th-grade, but its length, themes, and the writing style of Tolkien make it better suited to late middle school and into high school.

The Hobbit Plot Summary

In this prequel to J.R.R Tolkien’s classic fantasy novel ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ Bilbo Baggins is swept into a quest to reclaim his lost inheritance from the dragon Smaug. They encounter goblins, trolls, giant spiders, wolves, elves, and orcs as well as a host of other dangers. 

Baggins, an unlikely and initially unwilling adventurer who loves nothing more than sitting around a fire with his friends eating and drinking, sets out on the journey with Gandalf and thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, to reclaim his home from the Dragon Smaug. Along the way, But Bilbo’s greatest challenge may be himself: he must learn what it means to grow up and become a man while facing down great evil.

During the journey, Bilbo finds an extraordinary, magical ring that allows the wearer to become invisible but this ‘trick’ has some unintended consequences that figure prominently later in the sequels, ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ The Hobbit is a kind of coming of Age story (without the youth bit). Bilbo’s maturation from a lay around, do-nothing to a courageous adventurer who risks everything for the benefit of others drives the plot forward.

Suggested Reading Schedule

The Hobbit Suggested Reading Schedule: .5 to 1 chapter per day for most readers trying to finish the book within the timeframe of a teaching unit. For the casual reader, the pace might be a bit slower or faster depending on their background knowledge, interest level, etc.

The Hobbit Chapter Titles

Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party

Chapter 2: Roast Mutton

Chapter 3: A Short Rest

Chapter 4: Over Hill and Under Hill

Chapter 5: Riddles in the Dark

Chapter 6: Out of the Frying-Pan and Into The Fire Start  

Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings

Chapter 8: Flies and Spiders  

Chapter 9: Barrels Out of Bond

Chapter 10: A Warm Welcome  

Chapter 11: On the Doorstep

Chapter 12: Inside Information  

Chapter 13: Not at Home

Chapter 14: Fire and Water

Chapter 15: The Gathering of the Clouds

Chapter 16: A Thief in the Night

Chapter 17: The Clouds Burst

Chapter 18: The Return Journey

Chapter 19: The Last Stage 


When was The Hobbit first published? 1937

Who wrote The Hobbit? J.R.R. Tolkien

How many words are in The Hobbit? 95022

What is The Hobbit about? The Hobbit is a fantasy, epic story about an unwilling Hobbit’s maturation from a ‘do-nothing’ to a courageous adventurer who risks everything for the benefit of others.

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