Study Guide

Alanna: The First Adventure Genre

By Tamora Pierce

Genre

Young Adult Literature; Fantasy

Alanna starts out a ten-year-old kid, and winds up learning and accomplishing a bunch. So, like in other works of Young Adult Literature, we see a youthful protagonist finding her place in the world, making friends, defeating evil immortals, and other warm fuzzy things. Not every part of growing up is happy, after all…but at the same time, Alanna's adventures are told in an accessible and fun way, making them suitable for young readers (but fun for adults, too!).

It also counts as fantasy due to the prevalence of magic and the supernatural in what is a made-up fantasy world à la Tolkien's Middle Earth (though a tad less exactingly constructed). Alanna can use her magic to heal and create illusions; she confronts a magic fever that's threatening her friend; and she gets to use a magic sword to kill some bad guys. Granted, there aren't any orcs or unicorns, but we still feel pretty secure calling it fantasy.

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