Read This Aloud in Your Best British Accent

The Pick: Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Plot: Rover is only a puppy which is why he doesn’t know any better than to bite the trousers of the man who teased him. That one fateful bite sends the little puppy on a grand, magical adventure.

The Pros and Cons: Like any self-respecting bibliophile, I’ve read many of J.R.R. Tolkien’s works. I read The Hobbit before it was cool. However, I must admit, I have never read any of his short stories and was eager to start Roverandom.

Rover the puppy (later called Roverandom for reasons I will leave to you to find out), meets his adventures with curiosity and equanimity. He is thrust from his relatively tame home into a life of magical travel to the moon and back again.

J.R.R. Tolkien clearly enjoyed writing Roverandom. He pokes fun at magic, makes up funny explanations for common earthly (and lunar) occurrences, and generally writes a story that would delight any young boy. Throughout the book I couldn’t help but imagine Gandalf telling the story aloud to a group of traveling hobbits while seated near a campfire and smoking a pipe. There is no allegory or really any “moral of the story” in this tale. It is just pure fun.

The Perfect Book For: Reading aloud to your kids. Unless, of course, you know Ian McKellen… in which case, invite me over, stoke up a campfire, ask Ian to wear his beard, and I’ll bring the marshmallows.

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