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Any serious Tolkien fans?? A question about The History of LOTR and book order, etc

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I am getting ready to develop a lit yr based on LOTR for my rising 9th grader. We will be using LLfLOTR, but this particular child is an advanced student that loves to analyze literature and language (she actually sees herself as a linguist one day). She has asked that we go beyond LL and learn about how Tolkien created LOTR and the works that influenced him. Since I am not a serious Tolkien fan at this kind of level (I am a fan, but a reading fan, but not a "tackling all things Tolkien" type fan), I was hoping that maybe someone on here might have some insight.


I have already read and own, Kreeft's Philosophy of Tolkien and Pearce's Tolkien: Man and Myth. So those we will read, but that is not what she is asking for.


I am wondering if the History of LOTR http://www.amazon.co...=A2M4Z83ZJUHG3D would be what she wants? Or Letters of Tolkien http://www.amazon.co...d=ATVPDKIKX0DER


She also wants to incorporate The Silmarilliion and some of the Unfinished Tales. This part gets my head spinning b/c I don't know what order we should read things in. And, do we read the Unfinished Tales or should we read Children of Hurin or The Book of Lost Tales, etc?


Any insight that may be offered would be appreciated. She really wants to understand the process that he went through as an author to create the work he did.


Thanks! (ETA: I also cross-posted this question on the high school forum)

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In case anyone on this forum is interested in materials and doesn't read the high school forum, the participants over there have offered wonderful suggestions and resources.




FWIW, these are all geared toward students functioning on a high school level.

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