Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

I read this book in a day, oh my god, it was stinkin’ amazing. I tried to read this when I was around 8 or so, but it mentioned puberty and womanhood and was like ‘nope not appropriate’ and returned it to the library. And it was one of those books that just hung around in my mind until one day, about a year or so ago, I saw this series and all Tamora Pierce’s following series on the shelf, looked for the first book, couldn’t, and kept looking for over a year. Until I was at a huge book sale, found it, bought it, read it, and here we are.

This book follows Alanna, a girl who’d rather be a knight instead of a lady as is expected. And since her brother hates idea of being a knight and loves magic, she chops her hair and they switch. Now, she has to hide who she is, keep up with the grueling training, defend herself from bullies, and prove herself as a page. So you have a strong, genderbendy, determined, magic wielding entity of awesome, who still has weaknesses and fears.

So, I would say read this book. There’s some, but minor, violence, some brief mention of what happens when you lay with a man, and Alanna dealing with puberty. The last might make some a little uncomfortable if they’re prepubescent or don’t have a uterus. But, all those parts are brief, and this is still an excellent book. 11+. 

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