From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6?This serviceable biography gives a straightforward introduction to the life of the man who created the world of The Hobbit. Although brief, the book covers pertinent events. Tolkien spent the first few years of his life in South Africa, where his father worked for the Bank of Africa. When he was three, Tolkien, or Ronald, as he was called, went to England with his mother and brother for what was supposed to be a visit. While they were away, Tolkien's father died, leaving his wife nearly destitute. Five years later, she died. Tolkien was eventually sent to live in a boarding house for orphans, where he met his future wife. After a brief teaching post at Leeds University, he taught at Oxford for the rest of his career. Because Tolkien's life lacked the drama of a Fitzgerald or a Hemingway, this biography often seems slow moving. It does, however, give some interesting insight into the power Tolkien's work has had on people over the years, and gives addresses of Tolkien groups operating both in the U. S. and Great Britain. Libraries that have David R. Collins's J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of Fantasy (Lerner, 1992) may want to pass on this one, since the books are similar in scope and content. Otherwise, buy as demand suggests.?Melissa Hudak, North Suburban District Library, Roscoe, IL
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From Kirkus Reviews
A biography of the author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that devotes equal time to all periods of his life. Tolkien lost both parents by the time he was 12; at 17 he found the love of his life, but his guardian forced him to give her up for three years. Following his schooling, they were reunited, and he convinced her to marry him, a relationship that lasted more than half a century. As a scholar, Tolkien broke ground in the fields of language, literature, and philology. Fans will be heartened to see his life's passion--inventing languages and worlds--succeed in the form of The Hobbit. The Rings trilogy was rejected at first by publishers, so the story of its success is even more sweet. Neimark offers no clues as to her sources for information, so that credible situations include dialogue that--barring information to the contrary--seems invented. Tolkien's fans will find this to be a serviceable look at his life, no more. (illustrations, not seen) (Biography. 10-14) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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