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Warriors read-alikes May 8, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile.
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No, not the awesome late-70’s gang movie… the kids’ adventure series with all the cats!

From the Hornbook, an excellent set suggestions for kids who can’t get enough of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series (cool website by the way).

Q: My fourth grader has become a voracious reader thanks to the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. Other suggestions? — L. Everett, Arlington, MA
A: Two direct corollaries to the Warriors series come to mind (for those of you without pre-teens, the series is a multi-volumed, multi-tiered fantasy drama about sentient, heroic cats).
There’s SF Said and Dave McKean’s two Varjak Paw books, about a street cat gifted in martial arts.
And in a few years (the target age is a little older), try Clare Bell’s five-volumed Named series (beginning with Ratha’s Creature), about the epic struggles of giant prehistoric cats.
Moving beyond the feline subset, though, there’s a rich array of animal fantasy out there. Brian Jacques’s iconic Redwall books are a strong choice, but don’t overlook more recent series such as:
M. I. McAllister’s Mistmantle Chronicles (beginning with Urchin of the Riding Stars), which follow the exploits of a spunky squirrel page
Kenneth Oppel’s bat quest-adventures (Silverwing, Sunwing, and Firewing);
and Clem Martini’s Feather and Bone: The Crow Chronicles (the world-changing journeys of a young outcast crow, beginning with The Mob).
If your child is partial to the triumphant underdog theme, you might also try moving into the human realm with Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small Quartet, about the training and trials of a fantasy kingdom’s first legally sanctioned female knight,
or Suzanne Collins’s Underland Chronicles, which, starting with Gregor the Overlander, tell the tale of an eleven-year-old boy who fulfills his destiny as the prophesied hero of a nightmarish underworld.
All these titles offer plenty of action and intrigue, as well as the chance to return time and again to beloved characters and worlds. —Claire E. Gross

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