Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
First published 1983
Plot Description: Alanna of Trebond yearns to be a knight, but she is a girl. Her twin brother, Thom, wants to be a mage, but he is the only son and must take his rightful place among the knights and protect the kingdom. So what are the pair to do? Trade places of course. Deceiving their father, who is always too busy with his books in his study to care much for them anyways, they trade places and Alanna is off, with a forged letter of introduction as Alan of Trebond, to become a page and begin her knights training. The path to knighthood is hard, but she is as smart, strong and clever as any of the boys and is ready to prove herself and one day will reveal herself and show that a female cane be just as great a knight as any male in the land.
Quantitative Reading Level: Grades 5-8
Evaluation: This is a more grown up version of The Princess Knight, except Alanna isn’t a princess. However, we still have a strong female character who, against the norm, wishes to go into a profession that is only for males and must prove herself. This is an empowering tale for both male and female as the watch Alanna struggle against the odds and puberty to become who she truly wants to be.
Content Area: ELA