Celebrating Mothers in YA Literature

Happy Mother's Day!

To celebrate Mother's Day, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the presence of mothers in YA literature.  

So many times, our beloved protagonist's mother is either deceased, doesn't care, or somehow uninvolved in the his/her life.  Even worse, there's potentially an evil stepmother in the mix.

But what about all those times when there's an awesome mother who truly cares about her child?

Today, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of these mothers.

This list is far from complete, and just the first five moms I can think of off the top of my head!
(Because if they're at the forefront, they should be featured, right?)

UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

Maggie is the very first mother to cross my mind.  Hands down, she's one of my favorite mothers in YA.  When I finished reading the first UNEARTHLY book, I wanted to know more about main character Clara's entire family, not just the fate of her and her love interest.  Cynthia Hand built a strong family unit, and Clara's mother even has her own role to play in the series.
....But shh, no spoilers in the comments!  I haven't had time to read BOUNDLESS yet!

FIRST FROST by Liz DeJesus 

A fairy tale where the mother is awesome?  Um, that never happens.
And yet...it does.  FIRST FROST revolves around a girl named Bianca who loves her mother so much, she goes on an epic journey to save her.  These two women have a close bond, and I look forward to seeing them together again in future books.



I just r&r the title this past month, but I was impressed with the way secure family units were present in the lives of both our protagonist Maddie and her love interest Logan.  I especially loved the way Logan's mother embraced her son's friend--not even girlfriend--and helped her blossom and grow over the course of the story.Review

A WRINKLE IN TIME [And Companions] by Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle was a favorite author of mine growing up.  I own most of her titles, even ones I was, at the time, to young to be reading.  There are many mothers I can focus on in her books, but Dr. Murry takes the cake.  She's super smart--a microbiologist!  Major props to Madeleine L'Engle for showcasing, smart, beautiful, successful women way before others considered it. Dr. Murry is a strong character for her children to lean on throughout the series.  We even see Meg grow up to emulate her mother and become strong herself in future books.

The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter

Cammie's mother Rachel is another smart, confident lady with her own great scenes over the course of a series.  She's the headmistress at Gallagher Academy, a private school that secretly trains its students in the art of subterfuge.  A woman who can be a spy, run a school, and still make time for her daughter?  Super Mom, indeed!

Which mothers in YA make you stand up and cheer?


  1. Mother in YA I love...hmmm... I'm afraid, I'm drawing a blank here. YA is so full absent and/or non-positive parents...
    Oh, I've remembered two! Ari and Dante's mothers in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I <3333 those women!!

    And I agree, I liked Maggie too :)

  2. This was such a lovely surprise! Thank you so much for doing this, you are, as always, awesome. *hugs*


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