Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest by Nancy Springer

Outlaw Girl of Sherwood

Rosemary’s mother, a woodwife or healer who was half elf, has been killed and Rosemary is left all alone in the world.  She decides that rather than going down to the village and inevitably being married off to a man whom she must then serve the rest of her life, she would try to find her father, a renowned outlaw, Robin Hood.  She cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy and armed with her crude bow and arrows she sets off for Sherwood Forest to seek him.   Along the way she becomes fast friends with a huge dog who looks like a wolf, becomes an enemy of a vicious and frightening soldier who wears the skin of a black horse’s head as if it were a helmet, and meets an oversized man with the personality of a child and the voice of an angel. 

This story entwines feminism, fantasy, folklore and adventure.  Rosemary, or Rowan as she chooses to be called, is enterprising and interesting.  There is lots of action and also self-discovery and self-determination.  A good story for girls from 5th through 8th grade. 

Posted by: Fran W.

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