The Outlaw Varjak Paw

ISBN: 0552551562
ISBN 13: 9780552551564
By: S.F. Said Dave McKean

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About this book

Having saved the city cats from a fate worse than death, Varjak Paw finds himself the elected and popular leader of a new gang - a gang that supports freedom and kindness for all. But will the pressure take its toll on this brave yet sometimes naive cat?Soon the city erupts in an all-out gang war as the evil Sally Bones attempts to control the lives of all cats. Horrified and outnumbered, Varjak and the others must fight for their freedom or die trying; can Jalal's Way really be the best way?This is another thrilling adventure, eagerly awaited by all Varjak fans, both young and old.

Reader's Thoughts

Maddie Laidlaw

** spoiler alert ** This is the second Varjak Paw book and he's on the streets with Holly, Tam, and Cludge. (Holly and Tam are cats, Cludge is a dog) Varjak Paw is on the run from Sally Bones and her gang because if they find you, they'll cut of your ears and tail, the two things that make a cat a cat. So Varjak Paw plans to fight them but he has to form a small army first....

Dolly Cheer

I read this when I was ten or twelve, and I absolutely loved it. I had no idea it was a sequel, it seemed to me a stand-alone book, but I kept reading it over and over. I loved everything about it, all of the characters and events. There were some scenes I even repetitively went back to. It's an easy, quick read, it's not too violent and gruesome for young readers, it's enjoyable, and I still love it and keep it safe in my closet so it can't get ruined. This is one of those books that comes to mind when someone asks me what are some of my favorite stories. I would suggest this to anyone who likes to read fiction from the perspective of an animal, especially fans of the Warriors series.


okay first things first: (((elizabeth)))!!!thank you so much for such a wonderful stack of birthday books! and for somehow creating a paperback edition of this book to go along with my paperback of the first book. i could only find hardcover editions listed online, and i like my books to match. and now they do. last week, i tore through varjak paw so i could get on this one. it is also illustrated by dave mckean, and is another dark little tale of littlecat survival in a bigcat the first book, varjak paw was taught physical fighting skills by the dream-vision of his famous cat ancestor. in the sequel, he learns how to fight a mental game - the psychological tactics that keep a cat alive in a tough world.because this time, the stakes are higher. sally bones, the super-creepy one-eyed cat who knows the same ancient fighting secrets as varjak, is taking over the city: she and her gang are barging into territories and intimidating the non-gang cats into giving them food and slowly forcing them into smaller and smaller free-zones where they are allowed to live and try to sustain themselves. "pussies," you scoff, "why don't they fight back??" oh, because sally bones' gang is big and strong and if she doesn't like you, she will have them rip off your ears and your tail which is pretty damn badass, as far as creatures without opposable thumbs go. bad kitty!so, yeah, it's pretty dark. but varjak has a motley "gang" of his own, with a dog and a classroom while he sleeps. so he's going to be okay. but some of the cats around him, cats that he considers to be friends... there will be consequences. i really like that this isn't a sweetie-pie story where all the good fluffy kitties are okay and all the nasty kitties get punished. there is a little of that, but it is still a little tougher than a lot of middle-grade fiction.this book is nearly twice as long as the first one, and the cast of characters is much bigger and more developed. i assume he is finished writing these, because this one came out in 2005, and there hasn't been another since then, but i really hope he chooses to revisit these characters, because i think this could be a successful series, if someone could keep the damn things in print!! and again with dave mckean - there is no better choice for an illustrator for this book.nicely done.

Tim Caines

Enjoyable but not as good as the first one. Time I went on to a classic!


Just as the last one. I read it the whole way on our Trip to Palm Springs in the third grade. -laughs-

Paperback Percy London

I book most purrfect.


I picked this book up and started reading before I realized it was book 2. I loved it so much I couldn't stop. I can't wait to read the first book as it seems people think it's better. Some of it was a bit mean and creepy.

Reetta Saine

Mystery, philosophy, action, adventure. Still, I preferred the first one.


This book is about a cat named Varjak Paw and he has to defeat his enemy Sally Bones. They both know some magical power.

Nicola Turner

Cate loved this sequel to Varjak Paw.

Joseph Sanchez

This is a great sequel to a great book. I enjoyed reading this up to the final battle versus Sally Bones. I expected a more climactic final battle, but was disappointed in the engagement. However, the story is told well, keeping a reader interested from beginning to end. I wished for more interaction between Varjak and Jalal. I find that the lessons he learned from him were vital to his survival, but I also believe that many of the lessons could be used by the children who read this book, too. Open Mind, Awareness, Hunting, and Trusting Yourself come to mind as being realistically beneficial. In this book Varjak learns that he cannot succeed by himself. Nobody can. He enlists the aid of Cludge and his family, the Scratch Sisters, Holly, Tam, Mrs. Moggs, the 'Orrible Twins, and believe it or not, Razor. Even thinking that you have mastered everything, you will always discover that there is at least one who is more skilled or more knowledgable. It is an enlightening tale, full of action, and fun to read.

Luca A

This book is also good it's about Varjak learning 7 battle skills to defeat the evil sally bones.

Althea Ann

The sequel to 'Varjak Paw' tells the further adventures of the alley cat who speaks to his Mesopotamian ancestor in his dreams - and has learned the mystical ninja-cat fighting skills of legend from him.Now, Varjak and his friends are up against a cruel gang of bullies. It's the dead of winter, food is scarce, and Sally Bones' gang is taking over the city. And, unfortunately, Sally Bones' fighting skills may be even greater than Varjak's.It's a cute story with a message of loyalty and standing up for oneself.As with the first book, Dave McKean's artwork really makes this story for younger readers stand out.


This sequel to Said's Varjak Paw was even better than the first book, and stands alone pretty well. The plotting is much tighter than the first, and I read this pretty much in one gulp.Varjak has mastered the Seven Skills taught to him by his ancestor, Jalal, and saved the cats of his town from the Vanishings that plagued them in the first novel. But without the fear of Vanishings as a distraction, the fearsome Sally Bones and her gang have seized control of the entire city. No cat who is not part of her gang can hunt freely or move about unhindered, and those who disobey face fearsome retribution. It doesn't take long for Varjak and his friends to be labeled outlaws, and soon it becomes clear that if Varjak wants to end his days as a Free Cat, he must face Sally Bones head on -- and she is the only other cat he has met that also knows the Seven Skills.


This was pretty much along the same lines as the first one, though the plot overall moved towards a more obvious conclusion. There was one surprisingly touching part, though, which I really wasn't expecting from a book about talking cats...

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