Originally Posted by Katsunami
I just can't identify with very young characters [...] (Do you see a 12 year old boy, or even younger, making Frodo's journey? I don't...)
Suppose Tolkien had never invented Hobbits, does it really matter if Frodo is a 33 year old hobbit/halfling, or a 12 year old boy? I think I'd still have read the story and liked it a great deal...
Sure, in reality most 12 year olds are vegetables; with each generation parents seem to be getting ever more protective of their children, so they have very little chance to learn about the world / make their own decisions / etc.
But realism like that just gets in the way when you read fantasy. You just have to accept that within the story you're reading, it's apparently perfectly acceptable for a 12 year old to be able to walk and talk and think, even if that's completely unrealistic.
Not reading a book because the main character is young isn't an option for me... too many great books among there, and I'd rather have young characters here and there than Hobbits in every book