Reviewed as a mother,
We have read this book twice as a read aloud. The first time when the kids were 4, 6 & 7 and again recently at 6, 8 & 9. They loved the tale both times. The story has a large cast of characters each having a distinct personality and point of view. It is a classic adventure story with unlikely heroes, that make mistakes, and dark bad guys. The first time I read it I had to tone down the descriptions of some of the nastier characters because they are very detailed and were too intense for my youngest however this year she was unfazed but it. Some people are drawn to this story because of its extreme fan fare where others are turned off by. I say, it is just a book. It should be judged on the same criteria as any other book. The overall theme is one highlighting friendship, camaraderie and the ability of one small person to make a significant impact on those around them. The language and voice are rich but not too complex for young listeners. There were only a few times which further description was needed to help a little one understand a word or idea. Either of my older children could read this book now at ages 8 and 9 however because of the length I would guess that only my 9 year old would have really enjoyed reading it on his own.
Just a note. If you are considering reading The Fellowship of the Rings with your children you may want to read my review first.
Lexie level 1000