ROWAN HOOD: OUTLAW GIRL OF SHERWOOD FOREST by Nancy Springer

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Rosemary has grown up in a small village with her mother, a healer with magical abilities.  But when her mother is killed, Rosemary flees into Sherwood forest, disguising herself as a boy and changing her name to “Rowan.”  She hopes to join Robin Hood’s band of merry men, for although Robin doesn’t know it, he is her father.  After getting in some trouble with the law for hunting in the Prince’s forest, Rowan finds Robin Hood.  But the reunion with her father isn’t quite what she expected it to be.

Rowan Hood is part of the long and glorious tradition of children’s books about girls dressing up like boys so that they can do cool stuff in a time period when girls weren’t allowed to do cool stuff.  For this reason, it will probably appeal most to girls, although there are some combat scenes, and anyone who enjoys Robin Hood stories will appreciate the connections to those tales.  I would recommend Rowan Hood to middle grade readers who enjoy both historical fiction and fantasy.

If you liked Rowan Hood, you might like The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke, A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner, or The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer.  Teens who liked Rowan Hood might also like Alanna and similar series by Tamora Pierce.

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