These Cats Are “Srs Bznz”

Not long ago, my (almost) 9-year-old twins faced a problem: What do they read after Harry Potter?

They wanted another series. They wanted fantasy. They wanted adventure.

For recommendations, I turned to a friend of mine with older kids. Without a second thought, she said: “The Warriors. It’s about cats.”


Look at these covers! These cats mean business. Serious business.

This feline franchise consists of an enormous number of books, including several story arcs, spin-offs, and special editions. As of 2012, 14 million English-language copies had been sold around the world, and I’m sure that number is much higher today. The author is Erin Hunter, a pseudonym for a writing team developed by HarperCollins.

So far, my kids have read 32 Warrior books. I haven’t read them myself, so I have no idea how to describe them except to say that any mention of these books reminds me of Wanda Gág’s iconic children’s story, Millions of Cats:


There are countless warrior cats in these books, all with awesome names like Cinderpelt, Bramblestar, and Leafpool.

What do these cats do? I’m not really sure, but this is how the publisher describes the first series, Warriors: The Prophecies Begin:

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their ancestors. But the warrior code is threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying—and some deaths are more mysterious than others.

In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary housecat named Rusty . . . who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

My kids are addicted to this franchise. They’ve renamed our family’s cats “Flowerfur” and “Sunpelt,” engage in Warrior Cat-infused imaginative play, and write Warrior Cat fanfiction.

Now, the question is, what should they read when this feline phase is over?*


*I am particularly interested in fantasy/series featuring diverse characters, but appreciate all recommendations ideal for a middle grade audience. Thank you!

**Everyone in our household now has a “Warrior Cat” name. My twins are Autumn Tail and Copper Pelt.


  1. The Warriors Series is THE MOST AMAZING series that I have ever read, full of adventure, loyalty, courage, honor, and CATS!!!!!!!!!

  2. By that same team of authors, there are the Survivors and Seekers series, Survivors being about dogs and Seekers being about bears, and they are also coming out with Bravelands in June which is about lions. Was going to also recommend the Redwall series but I see someone else has already recommended it.

  3. Before I got into Warrior Cats myself, I read the series Emily Windsnap. So far, there is only 6 books in the series. The books follow Emily a girl who can transform into a mermaid and must save her family. If you think the series is bad at first, wait till you get to book 3: Castle in the Mist and you will fall in love with the rest of the books! 🙂

  4. We’ve been listening to the audiobooks of the Foxcraft series. I feel like they’re a tiny bit too old for C, but she’s obsessed with foxes and loves these books. They might be perfect for your girls!

  5. if these books had been around when I was a kid, I would have loved them! I don’t remember when I read Madeleine L’Engle so I am not sure if it’s the right age, but I suspect it might be close, the Time Quintet is great and Meg is a smart girl who saves the day. More science fiction than fantasy but I loved them when I was a kid.

    1. I would’ve loved these books when I was a kid too. I’m thinking about picking up the first one in the (first) series just to see what it’s all about. My kids are captivated! My girls have read A Wrinkle in Time and A Wind in the Door, but they haven’t read the other books in the Time Quintet yet. They included several references to those books in Anusha of Prospect Corner–including a maple tree named Progo (we have a beech tree we named Progo in our neighborhood because it has lots of “eyes,” but we made the fictional tree a maple because we already had a beech tree in the book).

  6. Ha! Something about an adventure series starring warrior kittehs really tickles me. Glad they’re enjoying them!

    I don’t think anything can compare with HP, but I’ve read a few middle grade series that have scratched similar itches. If the girls haven’t discovered Rick Riordan yet, he’s one to check out. His Percy Jackson and the Olympians series is good fun, and he is into a new series now, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – I read and enjoyed he first book in the series. Riordan can be a bit formulaic but he’s found a formula that works for him. And his adaptation of Greek and Norse mythology into modern day settings is loads of fun and deceptively smart – there’s no question the guy does his homework.

    I’d also recommend the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente. (First name spelling – something like that.) The language is sort of steampunk Victorian feeling, so it takes some getting used to, but once you’re in, you’re in. I’ve never read anything quite like the Fairyland books – they’re absolutely incredible.

    Or if they want to stick with the warrior animal theme – and haven’t already discovered them – Redwall!!!

    This was too fun. Apologies if you already know about these series! But I think that thematically, if the girls were fine with HP, any of these would work too.

    1. The concept of “Warrior Cats” makes me laugh too. My twins have now renamed every member of the family. I’m Sweet Ear. They are Autumn Tail and Copper Pelt, and their dad is Big Tail. They named their little sister Big Fur, but she rejected it. She ended up naming herself Glitter Sparkle, which my older two insist is inappropriate for a warrior cat. It’s hilarious.

      Thank you for the recommendations! My girls have read Percy Jackson, but not Fairyland or Redwall.

  7. One daughter read the Cats, the other read the Owls series by Kathryn Lasky. Same kind of thing, but owls. It’s so awesome when your children discover a series they like, just like when I do!

  8. Never heard of this, but I’m not a kid. Heh.

    There is a series starring Toad, who’s seven, I think. It’s somewhat dated, having been written decades ago, but I loved Mrs. Coverlet’s Magicians. Toad and his cats are lots of fun.

    I remember reading this one (there are three in the series) when I was young: That’s for their dinosaur stage. 🙂

    The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley when they go through their horse stage. (Also the Island Stallion series, which is a totally different kind of cool.) The Black Stallion movie is also worth watching, if they haven’t yet. There is NO DIALOG during the forty minutes Alec and the Black are on the island after the ship goes down, and the scenery is knock-your-eyes-out beautiful.

    You can’t go wrong with Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, either. 🙂 Though I’m guessing there are more modern mystery series they may enjoy more.

    All my recommendations are old books. Sorry. Guess I haven’t kept up with the youth market. 😉

    1. Thanks for these recommendations! Mrs. Coverlet’s Magicians sounds perfect for my girls. They would also like the Black Stallion series. They haven’t tried Hardy Boys yet, but they have read Nancy Drew. I was a huge fan of Nancy Drew when I was in 3rd grade.

        1. My kids don’t seem to mind “dated” books. They enjoyed Nancy Drew (there are also newer Nancy Drews for an even younger audience–they’ve read some of those too), and they also enjoyed other books from my childhood. It’s funny when I have to tell them a certain items are. A few years ago, they asked what a newspaper was. We had to go out and buy a paper copy to show them.

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