Into the Wild
by Erin Hunter
AR Test, Must Read
Four Clans of wild cats share the forest. Their ancestors created the Warrior Code, an unbreakable law of the forest that all warrior cats must follow. But the warrior code has been threatened, and because of it, ThunderClan cats are in danger, and warriors are dying mysterious deaths. As the division between the clans widens, Bluestar is desperate to discover the truth behind the deaths and save her clan.
As tensions rise, a new cat appears. Rusty is just a typical pet who lives with the twolegs, but he dreams about living in the forest. When he meets ThunderClan, he is eager to join them, but first, he must fight to win acceptance by a clan that doesn’t want him. Will he be allowed to join ThunderClan? Can Rusty prove himself a brave warrior, or will his kittypet origins be his downfall?
Readers that pick up Into the Wild will jump into a wild forest that is ruled by cats. The fast-paced story shows the world from the cats’ point of view and uses realistic cat terminology. The cats’ world is beautifully described and has strong male and female characters. What truly makes this book (and series) worth reading again and again, is the character development and the surrounding drama. Fluent readers will adore Into the Wild because of the exciting battles, tense drama, and wide cast of characters. The cats often battle, and although the fighting is not gory, some of the evil cats scheme to raise their status by killing, manipulating, and deceiving others. Such actions are always portrayed in a negative light.
Readers will especially fall in love with Firepaw and his friends as they watch them grow up in the beloved ThunderClan. Into the Wild is more than a fun read, it teaches lessons of love, acceptance, and the merits of hard work. Readers will see how the different clans act like people; this gives readers an opportunity to see how others react to cultural differences and prejudice. Readers will learn that you cannot judge someone by where they came from. Get ready to read the rest of the Warriors series, because there will be no turning back once Into the Wild sinks its claws into you.
- When “Rusty” (Firepaw) went to the forest, he was attacked by Graypaw for trespassing. “The creature hit him like an explosion and Rusty was thrown sideways into a clump of nettles. Twisting and yowling, he tried to throw off the attacker that had fastened itself to his back. It was gripping him with incredibly sharp claws. Rusty could feel spiked teeth pricking at his neck. He withered and squirmed from whisker to tail, but he couldn’t free himself.” They fight for a page and a half.
- When Rusty had to prove himself to the clan, he fought Longtail. “Rusty flattened his ears, narrowed his eyes and hissing, leaped through the startled cats to fling himself onto his tormentor. Longtail was completely unprepared for Rusty’s attack. He staggered sideways, losing his footing on the hard-baked earth. Filled with rage and desperate to prove himself, Rusty dug his claws deep into the tabby cat’s fur and sank in his teeth. No subtle rituals of swiping and boxing preceded this fight. The two cats were locked in a screaming, withering tussle that flipped and somersaulted around the clearing at the heart of the camp.” The fight goes on for a page and a half.
- Firepaw mistook Graypaw for an enemy warrior and attacked him. “Claws unsheathed, he launched himself at the enemy and landed squarely on a set of furry, muscular shoulders. He dug in hard, gripping with thorn-sharp claws, ready to deal out a powerful warning bite.” They fight for one page until everything gets sorted out.
- Yellowfang attacked Firepaw. “Firepaw screeched in shock as the she-cat slammed into him, knocking him sideways. Two heavy paws clamped down onto his shoulders, and iron jaws closed around the back of his neck. ‘Murr-oww!, he grunted, already thinking fast.” The fighting takes place over two and a half pages.
- Firepaw tried to chase a kittypet out of his territory for one page. “Firepaw leaped onto its back in a single bound. Firepaw could feel the cat struggling beneath him as he gripped on with all his claws. It let out a desperate and terrified yowl.”
- Ravenpaw told a story of a previous battle. “Fur was flying everywhere. Blood spattered the leaves of the bramble bushes, bright red against green. I’d just fought off a huge warrior and sent him squealing into the bushes when the ground shook, and I heard a warrior scream. It was Oakheart! Redtail raced past me, his mouth dripping blood and his fur torn. ‘Oakheart is dead!’ he howled. Then he rushed off to help Tigerclaw as he fought another warrior.”
- The group of cats was attacked by rats. “Ravenpaw was struggling and clawing at the earth. Something has hold of his leg and was dragging him down into the ditch.”
- ShadowClan was attacking the ThuderClan camp. “Firepaw caught hold of a tabby warrior queen, much larger than him, and sank his teeth deep into her leg. She yowled with pain and turned on him, lashing out with sharp claws and lunging at his neck with her teeth bared. He twisted and ducked to avoid her bite. She couldn’t match his speed, and he managed to grasp her from behind and pull her down into the dirt. With his strong hind legs, he clawed at her back till she squealed and struggled away from him, running headlong into the thick undergrowth that surrounded the camp.” Rosetail and Lionheart die in the battle, and the battle goes on for four pages.
- Spottedleaf was killed by a ShadowClan warrior named Clawface.
- Firepaw and Graypaw attacked Yellowfang. “Then they leaped. Yellowfang yowled with surprise and the two cats landed beside her and pinned her to the ground.”
- Firepaw attacked Brokenstar with a patrol to get rid of him as a leader. “At Whitestorm’s nodded signal, the Thunderclan cats leaped into the battle. Firepaw grasped a silver tabby with his claws, but was shaken loose. He tumbled over and the ShadowClan warrior turned on him and gripped him with claws as sharp as black thorns. Firepaw managed to twist and sink his teeth deep into the cat’s flesh. The warrior’s yowl told him he had found a tender spot, and he bit harder. The warrior screeched again ripping himself free, and ran off into the bushes.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- When angry, the cats occasionally call each other terms such as mouse dung, crowfood, furball, and mouse brain. For example, Bluestar got angry and said, “What a mouse-brained fool.”
- When Yellowfang tries to get up and can’t, she mutters, “rat-droppings.”
- Yellowfang got snappy and said, “Well, that’s my business mousefodder.”
- After Firepaw made a mistake, Graypaw said, “that was a mouse-brained thing to do.”
- When they capture a cat from another clan, Firepaw is forced to feed her. Dustpaw says, “Another day looking after that mangy old fleabag…”
- StarClan is the heavenly tribe of dead warrior cats that watches over all the cat clans. Cats that die go to StarClan and can come back in dreams to share visions or prophecy. StarClan can help shape fate because they can see the future.
- Cats go to the moonstone, “a gleaming rock, which glittered as if it were made from countless dewdrops,” to share dreams with StarClan and gain answers.
- StarClan shared a prophecy that said, “only fire can save the Clan.”
- A clan leader can be granted nine lives from StarClan, and if they die, they can come back to lead their clans. “I think you ought to know that, in the battle with the rats, it was not my fifth life that I lost, but my seventh.”
- StarClan sends dreams to Firepaw predicting the future.
- Cats are granted their warrior name, “by the powers of StarClan.”
by Paige Michelle