NO GOOD DEED: Robin Hood Reimagined

Lynn: Folk and fairy-tale twists are hugely popular in our neck of the woods, as are strong female protagonists who take care of business without some male hero stepping in. Kara Connolly’s arrow-strewn No Good Deed  (2017) is just the perfect fit!

Ellie Hudson, a top-ranked U.S. archer, has traveled to Nottingham for qualifying trials for the upcoming Olympics. Ellie is under a lot of pressure so when she stops a match, claiming to see a strangely dressed man step into her line of fire, her story is met with skepticism. Did she stop the match to sabotage her opponents or was she just losing her focus? The next day, Ellie sees the figure again and follows him into dark caverns of Nottingham Castle—and when she emerges, she has traveled back in time to Medieval England.

Coming face to face with the reality of the middle ages is pretty daunting. Worse, she is mistaken for a boy and quickly has a price on her head. What’s a girl to do except put her archery skills to legendary use while trying to find a way to get home.

Connolly has a huge amount of fun with this gender-switching homage to Robin Hood, and readers will too. Stories like Robin’s meeting with Little John and Will Scarlet and the archery tournament get a clever spin. Ellie has both snark and spunk, and with the aid of her archery skills, she manages just fine. There’s great action, a little romance, and some nice historical information woven into the fun. This entertaining story is right on target.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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