Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Parental Figures in Books


top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: Top Ten Parental Figures in Books

As moms, we are happy to share this list!


When I created this list, I was saddened that there seem to be so many more negative examples of mothers and fathers in literature than positive examples of mothers and fathers. We need to change this!

1. Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I strive to be as good of a parent as this man. He is easily my favorite parent in any book I’ve read because he is wise and treats his kids with respect.

2. The unnamed mother in Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

I completely understand that many people find this mother’s devotion to her son to be a bit creepy. I get it. But I don’t find it creepy at all. The backstory of the book is here.

3. The two penguins in And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson

These two penguins are very devoted to little Tango. They show a love and affection that is admirable. I still laugh that this book is censored.

4. The bee-keeping sisters in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

For me, this book was about motherhood. It taught me that mothers aren’t perfect, but they are often simply doing their best. These bee-keeping sisters are some of the best written characters I’ve read.

5. The women of A Thousand Splendid Sons by Khaled Hosseini

I am going to admit that I may be wrong here. My memory of this book is of hard-working mothers who are devoted to their families. I think about this book often (even though I read it over five years ago), and I envy the strength of these women.


Like Ricki said, too often parents are the antagonist in books–just another bad guy to overcome OR they are nonexistent OR they die and aren’t part of the protagonist’s life at all. We wanted to highlight parents that were present and wonderful in books. I, too, wanted to choose Atticus Finch because he is the best dad in literature ever, but no doubling up!, so here are my 5 top parents from books.

1. Willow’s parents and then Pattie from Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow is very lucky to always have an adult looking out for her, and even after her parents’ death, Pattie stepped up and ensured that Willow was well taken care of. Even if it was a bit unconventional.

2. Mr. Mendez from Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

He did everything in his power to ensure that his children received a good education. To make matters even better, this is a true story.

3. Doris from When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

Doris is real. She is a real mom that has to work hard to support her kids.

4. Rafe’s parents from Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

Although they may annoy him a bit (a lot), I love how supportive and loving they are.

5. Most of the parents in The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin

One of the things I loved about BSC is the different types of families that were represented, and no matter how different they were, the parent(s) were always supportive and trying to do their best.

Which parents stick out in your mind? Share them with us!

Happy upcoming Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to all of our parent readers out there!

RickiSig and Signature

4 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Parental Figures in Books”

  1. YAY! I love this topic SO much. I get why there are so many rotten parental figures, especially in YA fiction, but it’s SO refreshing when a good one is depicted. Atticus Finch is an excellent example. I also love the Weasleys, who are so loving and kind to not just their own children, but also to their children’s friends. That’s the kind of parent I want to be.

    Happy TTT!

  2. Great lists! My husband jokes that every middle-grade or YA book begins with either the parents dying or leaving or being evil – I suppose it’s a way to put the young protagonists on their own, but it’s annoying to us real parents!

    One exception is Hold Fast by Blue Balliett – wonderful parents in that book! Oh…and how about the Weasleys in Harry Potter? As good as the Durseleys were horrible.


    Book By Book


Leave a Comment