We Recommend: Diana Edition?!?!?!?

Another edition of We Recommend, in which we do our very best to
solve book-related questions, needs, and other miscellany, and then
turn them over to you, the readers, who really solve them. Need help
finding the right book? E-mail
us with some information about your reader, likes and dislikes, and
anything else, and we'll do our best. Now, on to our next surprising challenge.

And so, friends, it has come to this. Is it spring fever? The approach of middle school? The insane demands of NaBloPoMo? I don't know, all I know is that after about 10,000,000 attempts on my part, surreptitious and not, to suggest various books to Diana, my trusted collaborator and book rejecter, she has consented to ease my blogging burden and subject herself to…We Recommend.

But not so fast! Don't imagine for one moment that she has made it easy on you. Oh no. Here, her demands:

    I’m looking for a book that has:
A. Cats, ON THE SIDE OF GOOD
B. Main characters who have magic who have at least 3 females among their ranks.
C. Maybe wolves and owls WHO ARE GOOD are interchangeable with cats
D. I’ve already read Guardians of Ga’Hoole
My idea of a good book is the first 4 circle of magic books.

What do I recommend? I don't know that I even dare. But then again, I've been shrugged off before, and there seems to be no lasting damage. So here goes.

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What? Yes, I know, it's not about cats, OK? And there's the whole female characters problem. But it's an amazing book, truly wondrous, and YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU READ IT, OK?

There, that's enough of my acting like a mother.

And yes, she has read every single Warriors book under the sun. Good luck.

21 thoughts on “We Recommend: Diana Edition?!?!?!?

  1. I assume she’s read the Catwings series? It might be too young for her anyways but worth a try.
    I also found a recommendation for a book called Majyk By Accident. With mythical cats.
    And while not magic… I would highly recommend Ken Oppel’s books about bats, beginning with Silverwing. Just because.

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  2. I love her.
    Has she read the Dragon series about Pern? There is one where a baby dragon scrapes his chin raw trying to get to the woman he wants, despite all the eligible men around him, just hoping to be chosen. Powerful enough to stay with me all these years later!
    Hmm…good cats. Thinking.
    She has read the poems on which the musical was based, yes?

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  3. I’m assuming she’s also read the other Tamora Pierce series, especially the one that begins with Wild Magic? Those are very animal and girl oriented. Lloyd Alexander has a bunch of books about cats, like Time Cat… But they’re not really girl books at all. Huh. I’ll bet she would like Suzanne Collins’s Gregor series with all the animals and fantasy elements. But perhaps not enough girls or cats in that one. This is so reminding me of a cat and fantasy obsessed student I taught years ago. She was similarly particular and hard to please.
    Oh, wait… isn’t there a Diana Wynne Jones with cats and magic? Oh, yes, the Crestomanci books! Charmed Life has to do with a cat and so does the Many Lives of Christopher Chant. The main characters are boys… but there are girls in the story – important ones.

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  4. How about The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan? One of the two main characters is a girl (Sadie) and her cat (Bast) is magic!
    My daughter is All About The Good as well and loved it — some scary, unpleasant bits but it all works out beautifully in the end 🙂

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  5. My daughter’s solution to this seems to be to re-read all the Tamora Pierce books over and over. She does read other stuff (Ranger’s Apprentice very hot right now, but not so much with the Girl Hero) but then she says “Can you request me the Immortals 1-4?” “Can you request me the Alana series, but only 1-3. The fourth one isn’t as good.” The Tricksters duo is possibly her most favorite.
    She recently liked The Various and Celandine by Steve Augarde. Female main character, little people. Not sure about animals. The third one just came from the library the other day and I’m not sure if she’s read it yet. Also Savvy, which I plugged irrelevantly a few posts back, is now relevant. Girl, magic, not sure about animals.

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  6. Fantastic demands!
    How about Tailchaser’s Song, by Tad Williams? It has cats and magic in it, and although not very strong on female characters there’s at least one cat heroine. I read it when I was 14-15 and liked it a lot.
    Of course, if she hasn’t read Watership Down yet, she definitely should. Even though most other animal fantasy books will pale in comparison afterwards.

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  7. The Book of Night With Moon, and To Visit The Queen, both by Diane Duane. Part of her “Young Wizards” universe, which is MUCH fun, but these are about cat wizards specifically. The main character in both is a female cat, and I believe at least one other member of her team is female. (She started another one online called The Big Meow, which was to be later published. But I don’t know if that ever got past chapter 3 or so.)

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  8. Watership Down is an amazing book. Speaking of letting kids choose for themselves, I was under the impression, when I came across it on the shelf, that it was a seafaring novel. (I had a bit of a tendency to fill in the blanks myself rather than ask for answers.) Imagine my surprise when it was nothing like that! It was an amazing journey into a book I knew nothing about, and I still think it was one my most satisfying reading experiences ever.
    For a recommendation, is it silly to suggest the Xanth novels by Piers Anthony? It’s really fun fantasy (but you can’t be put off by puns), with lots of strong female characters, all able to do magic. Talking animals, cats among them, are also prominent. And if she’s one who gets frustrated by reaching the end of the series and not having any more to look forward to, there are 20-something of them, so they’d hold her for a while.

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  9. Madeleine, I think your daughter and mine are the same person. She is 17 and rereads Pierce’s books over and over. But she doesn’t even like the Circle of Magic books- they are too YA. She has skipped YA and now does adult non-fiction in addition to her classics and childhood favorites. As for Diana, I got nothing that has not already been suggested.

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  10. I second The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, both of which acually do have these hunting wildcats that befriend each novel’s heroine, so there are cats of a sort. When I was twelve, I loved the Star Trek novel Uhuru’s Song about a planet of cats that is being ravaged by disease. The Egypt Game is also good–three female characters and magic of a sort. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge has a central female character and various magic animals, including a cat.

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  11. Nthing Tamora Pierce and Robin McKinley and adding The Wee Free Men (a trilogy thus far) by Terry Pratchett. The cat isn’t on the side of good but the frog is and the female friends don’t show up until book two…

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  12. I just remembered that I read a pre-press copy of “Dark’s Tale” a cat mystery set in Golden Gate Park. It’s a little scary (abandoned animals vs coyotes) and no magic human girl protagonists (but girl animals including an owl) but emblazoned on the test cover were the words “Warriors fans will love Dark’s Tale”. The message is a little heavy handed but it’s a fast read and likely to become a whole series. In fact if you want my copy contact me and I’ll send it along. I wasn’t planning on keeping it.

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  13. Has she read the Warriors series by Erin Hunter? There are more than 18 of them. The series is about groups of wild cats who fight eachother and have adventures. There are some slight fantasy elements to the books.

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  14. I don’t know enough about it to know if it totally fits the bill, but Katheryn Lasky just started a new series (Wolves of the Beyond?), this one about wolves. The first is called Lone Wolf, I believe. It doesn’t exactly fit the bill but might help fill the gap.
    Also, is she ready for Brian Jacques’ Redwall series yet? Those are fantastic epic adventures w/ mice on the side of good and other creatures (rats, mainly). They are long and richly descriptive. There are probably more male than female characters, though the females play important roles. Mariel of Redwall is very female centric if she wanted to start there. Good luck!

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  15. If she hasn’t read Diana Wynne Jones I must nth that recommendation–she was one of my favourite authors when I was Diana’s age, along with Tammy Pierce. She also might like Patricia C. Wrede if she hasn’t read them already: the Enchanted Forest chronicles have a feisty heroine that really nurtured my Young Feminist self. No cats, though…

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