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  • Published: New York : Atheneum, 1986.
  • Year Published: 1986
  • Edition: 1st ed.
  • Description: 253 p. : ill., map ; 22 cm.
  • Language: English
  • Format: Book

Reading Level

  • Lexile: 790

ISBN/Standard Number

  • 0689854293 :
  • 0689878583 (pbk.)
  • 067980112X :
  • 0689311176
  • 1442427655

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The woman who rides like a man

by Pierce, Tamora.

There are currently 2 available

Where To Find It

Call number: Teen Fiction

Available Copies: Traverwood Teen, West Teen

Additional Details

On her first tour as a knight errant, Alanna assumes a position of influence with a fierce desert tribe, makes some changes in the role of women in the society, and continues her own emotional development.

Community Reviews

old cover better

The original cover art was significantly better. These three all look far too old and sexualized.

A good, but problematic, book.

I was 12 when I discovered the Song of the Lioness quartet, and they made a massive impression on me. At that point in my life it was amazing to find a series of books with such tough, relatable heroine. Alana was everything I wanted to be: strong-willed, compassionate, driven, and dead set on living on her own terms.

It's been a decade since I first read these books, and they still stand up pretty well. Alana still strikes me as an excellent role model for teenage girls, and she's as endearing to college-aged me as she was to preteen-me.

That being said, I have one massive problem with "The Woman who Rides Like a Man". There's an uncomfortable degree of cultural insensitivity in Alana's dealings with the Bashir (a desert tribe who adopt her). The tribe is othered to the point of Orientalism, their customs little more than a caricature of Middle Eastern culture. I was also discomfited with the fact that Alana was portrayed as a white savior, swooping in and bringing massive "moral" changes to the Bashir's traditions. It struck me as a blatant display of cultural imperialism.

The Woman who Rides Like a Man has it's issues, but those problems can be the starting point for some great discussions. Because it raises questions about gender roles, moral relativity, and cultural issues, it could be a great selection for a teen reading group

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