I do take a strange pleasure/pride in being able to recommend a book to a child or teen. Last month at book club, a friend mentioned that her seventh grader was having a hard time finding something to read. I offered to send home a couple of books I had picked up at NCTE and jokingly said that all her daughter had to do was to write a review for the blog if she wanted to read them. Imagine my delight when she returned the books last night, complete with reviews. What follows today and tomorrow are the reviews of two Tamora Pierce books by Amelia, aged 12.
Alana: The First Adventure
This is a book of daring and secrecy. A girl and her twin brother switch places and the girl, Alanna, heads off to the castle disguised as a boy. At the castle, Alanna must go through the challenges of being a page: the work, the people, and the fact that she is exposed to a completely new world. She also has to hide from her friends and teachers that she is a girl, a task that grows harder as she grows older. Along the way, Alanna befriends the King of Thieves, Prince Jonathan, and Sir Myles, a knight. She inadvertently creates an enemy in a fellow page, causing her to encounter difficulties. She realizes she needs to overcome her fear and discover a way to help herself. During her first two years as a page, Alanna learns that her friends will stick with you no matter what, and that just because she is different they will not dislike or leave her.
This books was a quick and easy read but it was very enjoyable. Although it was quick, I felt that it was well written. It was interesting beacuse it was about a girl instead of a boy. Since it touches on the topic of puberty, I don’t know if it would be appropriate for Intermediate School, but it should be appropriate for Middle School.
Well said, and thanks to Amelia!