It has been years since I read "The Hobbit," and I did read most of the "Lord of the Rings" series in addition to seeing the trilogy of films. I knew that there was a spiritual significance in Tokien's books, but I sometimes have struggled to find it. I was excited to get the chance to read through this devotional.
While I believe that the author's intentions were fantastic, I think she may have either bitten off a little more than she could chew or tried to do what Tolkien never intended. Don't get me wrong-the devotional is fine. She has a quick chapter for different sections of Bilbo's journeys. She carries the theme through well and always backs it up with Scripture. You can also dig deeper with her thought-provoking questions and Bible readings. I just felt that it kind of missed the mark. I would have preferred a series of devotionals that dealt with just one of the books in the series. And I would have even preferred using this as a companion read to Tolkien's original texts. But for the true "Tolkien" fanatics, this is a pretty good read.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
I purchased this book for my ten-year-old avid reader who has been enjoying Tolkien recently. It was just what I was looking for. My daughter is able to access the underlying Christian parallels that Walking with Bilbo points out on her own and we can then have a meaningful conversation about it later. Well done.
Sarah Arthur provides readers a devotional book based on The Hobbit that originally released in 2005 and has returned to the presses. This book is designed to "walk" you through the spiritual aspects of The Hobbit as you read through the classic saga. WALKING WITH BILBO consists of 22 readings meant to be considered, one per day as they enhance your understanding of the story while simultaneously applying the practical principles to your personal practices.
Each reading (less than 10 pages) has the following components: a quote from the book, a practical illustration (historical, personal, etc.), examples from The Hobbit, examples from the Bible, as well as questions and Scripture for further study. It's a nice casual, but challenging conversation of sorts, with an overarching theme of accepting our call to follow Jesus and live a dangerous, adventurous life as He leads. In that regard, it works well and offers plenty of insight to the reader.
I haven't seen the new The Hobbit movie yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I always have liked it better than The Lord of the Rings. In fact, I'm planning to teach a literature unit based on the book for the spring trimester at our homeschool co-op.
A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to review a devotional book that ties in with The Hobbit called Walking with Bilbo by Sarah Arthur. Knowing I had this class coming up, I was interested to see if it would be a good supplement for our study. I like to close out each class time with a short inspirational reading of some kind. My students will be in the 7th to 12th grade range, so it needed to be of interest to that age group and not too long.
When I received the book, I was able to tell right away that it was just what I was looking for! Each short chapter begins with a quote from The Hobbit. It then talks about that particular scene and applies a relevant spiritual lesson. The chapter closes with a Bible verse, and then provides some discussion questions. I look forward to using it with my class this spring.
Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Sarah Arthur, author of "Walking With Frodo," has followed up her first devotional book with a sequel (or should it be considered a prequel, as is the case with "The Hobbit" compared to the "LOTR" series?) aptly called "Walking With Bilbo." At any rate, we discover 22 key lessons from Bilbo's journey with Gandalf and the dwarves that apply to the Christian journey. The author makes it clear that JRR Tolkien did not intend for his stories to be 100% allegorical, however, there are striking connections that can be made.
Knowledge of the classic work is not entirely necessary, as quotes are brought in and further expounded upon. Rounding out each chapter are discussion questions and a list of related Scripture verses. I found this supplement most enlightening, as the passages from Genesis to Revelation confirm the themes drawn out from the book. One such parallelism is that of being chosen and selected. In the original story, Bilbo did not ask to go on the journey with the dwarvesâ€”Gandalf specifically chose him because he saw qualities deep within Bilbo that would be developed on the journey and effectively change the course of history through the success or failure of the mission. The same was true for Jesus selecting His 12 disciples, and is true today for all Christians. The calling to follow Jesus is thereâ€”do we have the faith to go on the journey?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of "Walking With Bilbo" through the Tyndale Blog Network, in exchange for my honest review.