Study Guide

Alanna: The First Adventure Coming of Age

By Tamora Pierce

Coming of Age

Oh, ten-year-olds, with their Lisa Frank and their Monster High dolls. Aren't they just so cute and innocent? Well, unless they're pages-in-training. In Alanna: The First Adventure, Alanna may look like a wee little ten-year-old, but she grows up right quick. Sure, she learns how to fight and defend herself, but she also learns to understand people and be more secure in her identity. Her buds Jonathan, Gary, Raoul, and Alex also mature over those couple of years. Of course, since they're boys, their maturation happens a little differently on the physical realm than Alan's, er, Alanna's does. (Hint: no Lisa Frank involved.)

Questions About Coming of Age

  1. How do the passing years affect Alanna and her friends? What does growing up look like for a knight-in-training?
  2. At what point in the story would you say Alanna truly begins to mature?
  3. Who is Alanna's most important mentor as she grows up? What does this mentor teach her?
  4. Why is Alanna so unprepared for puberty and womanhood? Does "womanhood" mean something different from "manhood?"

Chew on This

If not for puberty, Alanna could have maintained her masquerade forever.

Alanna has to go to court to grow up. She would never fully mature if she'd gone off to the convent or stayed in Trebond.