Rayner Unwin, who became J.R.R. Tolkien’s publisher, wrote this review of The Hobbit in 1936. He was 10 and served as a test reader for his father, publisher Stanley Unwin, who published the book. The older Unwin believed that children were the best judges of children’s books, and he paid young Rayner 1 shilling for each review. “Good money in those days,” Rayner Unwin later remarked.
REPORT ON “THE HOBBIT” BY RAYNER UNWIN
30 Oct 1936
Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who lived in his hobbit-hole and never went for adventures, at last Gandalf the wizard and his dwarves persuaded him to go. He had a very exiting time fighting goblins and wargs. At last they get to the lonely mountain; Smaug, the dragon who guards it is killed and after a terrific battle with the goblins he returned home — rich!
This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations it is good and should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9.