We're talking youth literature here, so Alanna isn't mind-bogglingly difficult to read and understand. We spend a lot of time in Alanna's head, and since she's only ten or eleven years old throughout much of the book, her thoughts aren't often over our heads. Sure, the story tackles some complex issues—identity and acceptance, lies and loyalty—but Alanna's youthful perspective makes them accessible.
So, yeah, the book is for kids. (In fact, we highly recommend harnessing the closest 9-year-old and giving her this book.) But it's not just for kids. It's enjoyable and easy to read no matter what your age: nine, 19, or—we'll say it—90.