Pierce, T. (2003). Alanna: The first adventure. New York, NY: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. ISBN-13: 978-1442426412. Paperback. $4.48.
Annotation: Alanna has never wanted to be a lady and decides to take matters into her own hands by learning to be a Lady Knight of the realm. Disguising herself as a boy though is challenging and even in her disguise, Alanna will make enemies in her rise to knighthood.
Who is Alanna? If you ask Alanna herself, she’ll tell you she doesn’t exist. Her name is Alan now. Alan of Trebond. Instead of going to the convent to learn how to do healing magic and to be a well-behaved lady, Alanna switches places with her twin brother Thom and goes to the palace to become a knight while he studies magic with the monks. The only problem is girls aren’t allowed to fight for the crown or become knights, so Alanna has to keep her identity a secret. With the help of her brother, her governess, and family’s steward, Alanna is able to become what she has always wanted: a knight. But it isn’t without its challenges. Alanna makes friends and enemies, but what if they find out who she really is? Will they accept her? Will they kill her or hide her away? Alanna has a lot to learn in the first four years as a page in the King’s Palace. Some would be terrified, but Alanna sees it as her first adventure.
If you like fantasy stories, with knights and magic, but with a twist, Tamora Pierce is for you. A coming of age novel, Alanna is the person who changes history in her own timeline and allows readers to feel like they can do the same. Although the story is wonderfully crafted, I always wish the timeline was slower and the books longer. However, because the books are shorter and go through Alanna’s life each year, it is a great series to give to a wider variety of ages. At the same time, the later novels may get too adult for some parents/readers as we see Alanna live her adult lift. This book and series is now extremely affordable, so like with Glass houses, I suggest the reader get the book from the library first to see if they like it since it is in a series and then purchase it if they do. Much like Harry Potter, I want to keep Alanna relevant to our readers!
Nomination: Preis der Leseratten des ZDF, NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature Nominee (2013)
Here is a link of Tamora Pierce saying her name, which is not pronounced like you would think. You can also explore other authors, like Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Also a link to Tamora Pierce’s fan page on Facebook.
Finally, some beautiful and extremely accurate Alanna Cosplay. Tamora actually posted it on her Facebook page via Reddit. Here’s a sneak peak: