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Friday, September 13, 2013

A Girl with a Bow and Arrow -- and a Wolf.

Springer, Nancy  (2001)  Rowan Hood:  Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest  New York:  Penguin.



Lately it seems like every protagonist from Legolas to Katniss to Merida (of Brave) to Hawkeye of the Avengers is shooting arrows from a bow at remarkable speeds.  I am not sure that the girl who is the main character in Rowan Hood can compete with them.  I am actually quite sure she wouldn't want to.  Rowan starts out as a sacred little girl.  Enemies have burned down her mother's house and she decides to go in search of the man whom she believes is her father, the mysterious Robin Hood. Along the way she bonds with a wolf-dog, frees an oppressed princess, and befriends a lad who is mocked as the village idiot, but who may have more talent than that world has ever seen.

What I think I love most about this book is that, although Rowan grows more and more capable and confident as the story goes on, she never seems to seek violence (though she sometimes falls into violent situations),  One could argue that Katniss (of Hunger Games) doesn't either, that all she wants to do is be done with the games and get back her district -- but when she is in the midst of a fight there seems to be a part of her that relishes it -- and she does seem, on some level, to enjoy being a rebel leader.  Rowan fights well, but finds she has a greater gift for healing.

This is a great book for middle school girls.  I suspect high school girls would like it too.

  

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