My fifth grade reader and I began The Hobbit today. I was nervous because the writing style is so much denser than current children's books. That is, there's so many more words on the page, it's visually daunting. And personally as a kid, I had a hard time getting into the story.
I couldn't tell at first what he thought about the book, but then suddenly he said, "Okay. I'm going to literally run to the bathroom."
He ran (literally) to the door, stopped, turned, and said, "This book is really good!"
Sitting there and hearing this fifth grader read Tolkien for the first time was the best feeling. Here's hoping he can stick with it! I will keep you posted.