Sunday, May 12, 2013

Best Young Adult Mothers

I was very, VERY tempted to make a list of all the worst moms in literature (because let's face it--there are tons), but I decided at the last minute to be more celebratory. Most moms in YA are dead, dysfunctional, or mostly absent, all of which are things I don't mind reading about. But you have to admit, it's both rare and refreshing to find a good motherly example in young adult lit. In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to celebrate a few of my favorite bookish moms. These are all off the top of my head, so I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Tell me your faves in the comments!

Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series
This woman is the ultimate SUPER MOM to her seven (!) redheaded children (all of whom were quite a handful, what with their dragons and ponytails and exploding toilets and ultimate betrayals and being best friends with famous boy wizards who are nearly murdered every six months and being kidnapped by basilisks). But she was also the very best surrogate mum little orphan Harry could ever ask for. I mean, she sent him a Weasley family sweater his very first Christmas at Hogwarts, even though they'd only met once for approximately ten seconds. But she knew he was unlikely to get any gifts of his own, and from that moment on, Harry was officially a Weasley. Oh, and if you try to harm a hair on her daughter's head, she will literally end you and call you names.

Lily Potter from Harry Potter
Obviously, it's hard to beat a mom who gave up her life to save her child's. That's pretty much the ultimate maternal sacrifice.

Natalie Prior from Divergent

Claire Glass from Unspoken
Not only does Claire routinely bring home all sorts of baked goods, she's supportive and loving to all three of her kids, even if she does work a lot. And even though she did make that certain mistake way back when. But she did it to protect her daughter and husband, and you can't exactly fault her for loving her family and being scared pants-less of the Lynburns. Because, hello. The Lynburns.

Helen Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries series
Helen had a rough job, being single mother to the histrionic Princess Mia, but with her feminist views, artistic temperament, and erratic-but-loving ways, I say Helen did a pretty good job, even if she did date and marry Mia's Algebra teacher. But hey, Mia's grades did improve afterward. So it was obviously for the best.

Kat Hall, Mia's mother from If I Stay
SOB SOB SOB SOB SOB. Kat used to be a punk rocker before Mia was born and while she was young, but once she and her husband had their second child, Teddy, they settled down and got responsible. She's supportive, funny, and breaks my heart into about a thousand tiny pieces, which is why I have to move on from this line of thinking right now before I burst into tears right now.

Marmee from Little Women
True, she's a bit sanctimonious and more than a little old-fashioned, but Marmee made sure her four daughters grew up with a lot of self-respect, wisdom, and kindness. She had a tough time, what with war and poverty and scarlet fever and stuff going on, but Marmee's strength never wavered, and she always remained an anchor for her girls.

Aly's mom Alanna from Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen

Other good moms: Jordan's mom in Catching Jordan; Jocelyn Fairchild, Clary's mom, from The Mortal Instruments; Lucy, Audrey's mom, from Dark Star; Christina, Carmen's mom, from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; Mila's mom from Mila 2.0; Kate Murray from A Wrinkle in Time; Caroline Ingalls from The Little House series; Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables; Mrs. Lancaster from The Fault in our Stars; Cassie's mom in The Year of Secret Assignments; Hadley's mom in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.

Who are your favorite literary mothers?


  1. Hahaha I love the amount of description you went into for Aly's Mom, Alanna. It's not like you were just talking about her or anything.

    And also, I love your first two Moms from HP. That series was full to bursting with great moms, like Nymphadora Tonks (sob!). Even Narcissa Malfoy could be considered a good Mom, what with helping Harry escape and caring more about protecting her family than the most evil wizard in existence and everything.

    Great list! :)

  2. I have a post similar to this written up for tomorrow (I can't seem to break the habit of a review every Sunday. I like routine:) but keep going back and forth. I absolutely love your list and I have read most of these, but the ones I haven't read makes me want to read them even more because who doesn't love a great parental figure in YA? Great list :)

  3. I love that Molly Weasley is first on this list -- she's probably my all-time favorite YA mom and her line when she is defending Ginny is one of the best quotes from the entire series!


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