First off: Kids are amazing. Second: The Hobbit kicks butt. As both an avid reader and writer, The Hobbit is one of my inspirational novels of all time. Thirdly: I do understand you cynicism, but with all due respect, you sound a bit... harsh. It is a wonderful book and an incredible read (as my brother, who read it just this past summer, absolutely loved it, and was ten at the time, will no doubt admit) and it was indeed intended for children, particularly that of J.R.R. Tolkein's. But as far as epic novels go, The Hobbit is somewhere along the lines of Beowulf and the Odyssey. So, yes. I am serious.