Emmy Grace Cherry was a young Warriors fan whose story is the inspiration for Brightspirit, Shiningheart, and Braveheart.


Emmy Cherry was a ten year old girl whose parents were Jimmy and Dana Cherry.[3] The Cherry family had moved several years ago before the accident to a rural street, also known as Swimming Pool Road; They owned two dogs, a couple of chickens, and they had land for their horses to graze on. They built their home about a mile up on Swimming Pool Street, a three bedroom building. Jimmy Cherry, Emmy’s father, worked as a supervisor at JW Aluminum. He often encouraged her to watch Animal Planet on television, and sometimes took her out to feed the animals. On the day of the disaster, their house reduced into nothing but a pile of debris. It took all nightfall to find the Cherry family, whom were swept 150 yards away from their actual home.[4] They were killed when a tornado hit their house in Atkins, Arkansas on February 5th, 2008. Emmy was described as a bright, generous, and beautiful girl who loved animals. Lynn[3] of Vintage Books, who knew Emmy, quoted:

"Erin Hunter has no greater fan than Emmy Cherry. She has not only read every book, but insisted that we all read them. I am 50 years old, and reading them. Her grandparents are reading them. Her aunts are reading them. Every child in the Middle School is going to read them. Because they are Emmy's favorite authors."[3]

Vicky Holmes, an editor of the Warriors series, quoted,

"I've done several press and TV interviews recently about creating a permanent memorial to Emmy Grace Cherry, and in each one I've been asked, Why would you do something like this? My answer is always the same: Why would I not? Emmy was a beautiful, generous, loving little girl who should not be snuffed out from our lives like a candle.[...]Her light is the brightest of lights, and it deserves to shine on for a long, long time. It is a great and humbling honor to be allowed to share the grief of her family and her community, and to be able to help raise funds for people that Emmy would have wanted to help herself."[5]

It is also revealed that Emmy's cat, Shasta, survived the tornado, but consequently lost the use of one leg. Emmy Cherry is Brightspirit's real name, and she survives in the Warriors series for books to come.[3]


Brightspirit is dedicated to Emmy Grace Cherry.[3] The Erins decided to give that girl and her parents special Warrior names in their honor. Brightspirit is the girl's name, and her mother and father are Shiningheart and Braveheart, respectively.[3] They appear in Long Shadows,[6] and have their own play, entitled Beyond the Code: Brightspirit's Mercy.[7]

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Revealed Here
  2. Revealed here
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Revealed here
  4. Revealed here
  5. Revealed here
  6. Revealed in Long Shadows, page 144
  7. Listed in the events of the day here:
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