Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a book blog tag hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! Today's topic is a Mother's Day special: the top ten best mothers in literature. Unfortunately, in YA and children's lit, a lot of the time parents (especially mothers) are absent, and most of the rest of the time, they're pretty terrible people. So I'm going to try to see if I can get to ten with both mothers and fathers by doing my Top Ten Favorite Parents in Literature.
1) Molly Weasley from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter. I mean, this one's pretty obvious. Molly is a super legit woman who manages to be feminine (i.e. her love for Celestina Warbeck), a motherly type (she makes monogrammed sweaters!), and also totally fierce (like when she killed Bellatrix, that was pretty awesome). Like all the good guys in the Harry Potter books, she eschews wizarding prejudices. She makes the best of living in poverty. She manages her own six kids along with the two kids she basically adopts, Harry and Hermione, and even when they drive her nuts, she never for a second acts like she doesn't love them. (Her husband, Arthur, is pretty legit too, for the record, though he's not nearly as fierce as Molly.)
2) Lily and James Potter from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter. Even though they're dead at the onset of the series, Harry's parents have a strong presence. Most notable, of course, is the fact that, at the age of 21, they both sacrificed their lives protecting Harry. Lily was even given the option to flee (an opportunity that Voldemort gave no one else), and she fought back anyway. That sacrifice ended up being the key to Harry's survival on multiple occasions, as it initiated a kind of blood magic rooted in love that gave him a powerful ward against Voldemort.
Also, they're an adorable couple.
3) Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Liesel's foster father in this YA historical novel is a true gem. Though he's the kind of man that fades into the background, he takes a quiet stand against the Nazis by protecting a Jewish refugee. He shows himself to be compassionate and thoughtful, and he loves to play the accordion, which is just a lovely addition to his character, honestly. He sets a great example for the children in his life.
4) Mrs. Murry from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Yet another fierce redhead of a mother, Mrs. Murry especially reminds me of my own mom. She's a brilliant scientist with two PhDs who worked with her husband on a key scientific concept that appears in the novel. When her husband disappears, Mrs. Murry suffers a terrible heartbreak. Nonetheless, she stays strong and raises her children with all due compassion and intelligence. The main character, Meg, sometimes struggles to live up to the example she sees in her mother, which I can relate to.
Yeah, that's all I can think of, unfortunately. There is a logic in having parents be less notable in children's/YA books--obviously the main character has to be the teen, and it's easy for parents to get in the way of that. However, I do think there's a gap here that needs to be addressed, which I've talked about some before.
Who are your favorite parents in literature? Let me know, and come back tomorrow for my next top upcoming read!
Images via ya-aholic.com, rooter.com, Harry Potter Fans on Google+, Hans Hubermann on Twitter, and smemirly on DeviantArt.
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