The Hobbit is full of adventure and wit. Bilbo starts off as naïve and doubtful, and evolves into quite a brave and daring adventurer. The character change of Bilbo makes me really enjoy the book, far more than the actual events. It is very relatable to be faced with a crisis, think you don't have the skill, and then surprisingly find strength within yourself to make it happen. He is more charming than Frodo in the Lord of the Rings; however, I think The Hobbit is a lot lighter than the trilogy and isn't heavy on the history and language. The book moves from scene to scene rapidly and is not drawn out, and everything works out neatly in the end.
Although it is difficult to tell any of the dwarves apart, except for Thorin and Bombur, it doesn't detract from the story. It is truly Bilbo's tale. He ends up fulfilling everything that Gandalf thinks he shall.
There isn't any romance, and the described violence is not too high, so I think young readers, probably around 10+ would be entertained.
It has been some time since I originally read this book, and I had the animated movie stuck in my head most of the time, and realized that there are parts in the movie that are of course, not in line with the book. I have yet to see the new theatrical release.