In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness #2)

Alanna, still disguised as a boy, is now a squire and continues her training to become a knight. She is a strong female character, especially in the context of other books I've read in this genre. The story is chock full of suspense, sword fights, battles, magic, deception, and romance. There are themes of friendship, being who you really are, and doing the right thing.  In so many ways this book should appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. I wonder why it remains the providence of mostly girls and young women? I'll have to book talk this series with my next group of upper intermediate kids to see if I can sell it more globally. 

I read the first in this series, Alanna: The First Adventure, during spring break and decided to read this sequel because of some student warnings that it should be on the grade seven shelf. It probably should since, while there are no graphic details, there are references to Alanna's and others' sexual activity.

★★★ 1/2

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