Debating Books - Fiction (Grade 10)

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Debating Books - Fiction

Shakira reached forward quickly, grabbing a copy of The Hobbit off of the school library shelf before anyone else could. She had been on the waiting list for weeks, and it was finally her turn. Naturally, she had read the book before; in fact, she had read the complete series from start to finish three times, but she never got tired of the popular fantasy. Although she appreciated the films and had watched them each one several times, they could not possibly compare to the original novels.

"Not J.R.R. Tolkien again?" whispered Jonathan peeking over his friend's shoulder. As passionate as Shakira was about Tolkien, Jonathan thought the Lord of the Rings books did not begin to compare to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The two friends often held friendly debates over the merits of each author's hefty volumes, taking turns spouting facts to challenge the other one. It quickly became apparent that today was another chance for the traditional dispute to continue.

"Fastest selling children's book ever, with 450 million books in print and eight blockbuster movies," said Jonathan, teasing his friend with statistics they already both knew.

Shakira countered those numbers immediately saying, "Tolkien wrote fewer books, so there are fewer movies, but they have all been huge hits. Tolkien doesn't write for children; he writes for adults, plus, you have to admit Frodo Baggins is far cleverer than Harry, because he accomplishes everything without any special powers or a magic wand."

"Dumbledore is an incredible wizard," retorted Jonathan.

"Gandalf is just as astounding," replied Shakira

"Gollum!"

"Fobby!"

The two friends burst out laughing and realized that, as usual, they had hit a familiar stalemate in their chronic debate. "Let's just go to my house, and read all afternoon," suggested Shakira, checking out the library book and tucking it into her backpack. At last the two companions had found something on which they both could completely agree.
1. 
Which factor do Tolkien's and Rowling's books share?
  1. They both feature a character named Dobby.
  2. They are both written as multi-volume series.
  3. They center their stories on a hobbit with powers.
  4. They were turned into a trilogy of movies.
2. 
The major difference between the two authors is that Tolkien's books...
  1. are written for adults, not children.
  2. have sold more copies internationally.
  3. have been turned into popular movies.
  4. feature a wizard as one of the main characters.
3. 
Which statement would both characters likely agree with?
  1. Wizards are always the best villains in fantasy novels.
  2. Having characters with magical powers is the key to a bestseller.
  3. Hobbits are the key to books that sell millions of copies worldwide.
  4. Reading books about other worlds and magical creatures is enjoyable.

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