Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the broke and the bookish. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Characters Who X (you fill in the blank — examples: piss me off, are the popular kids, are bookish, would be my bff, that stole my heart, etc. etc.)”
This week’s post started out as a Top Ten but really I think is going to be more of a commentary. Not only am I am mother, raising three teenage (or soon to be teenage) children, but I am also a counselor/parent educator turned family minister. To say family is extremely important to me is an understatement. Really it is a passion. I want my life and my career about helping parents to create strong close families that love to work, play and just be together. So I thought I would create a Top Ten Young Adult books that feature strong families. Shouldn’t be too hard. Right? Let’s see.
- The Weasley’s from Harry Potter. This family was the first to spring to mind. I love this loud, chaotic, magical family! Molly and Arthur are parents I love. Their family is one that stays together and sticks up for each other. They are involved in their children’s lives even when they are away at school ( I just love Molly’s howlers!) They make sacrifices for their family and the cause they believe in. Not to mention welcome Harry into their family as one of their own.
- The Duchannes/Ravenwood family from Beautiful Creatures. Ok, I realize Lena’s mother is dark and has abandoned her and yes, half of the family is also dark. But who doesn’t have some of those relatives? The light side of the family is as close and caring as it is large and I love Macon Ravenwood as the patriarch of the family.
- The Tucks from Tuck Everlasting. It has been a really long time since I’ve read this book, but my memory tells me this was a close family.
- The March Family from Little Women. I don’t need to explain this one!
- The Cullens from Twilight. While this family may not be your conventional family (how do you parent a 100 year old ‘teen,’ even if you are a few hundred years older…) they are one that stick together through everything. They can disagree but still be respectful of each other and their leader.
And that is where my list ends. My list of characters with absent parents, both physically or emotionally, is near endless.
- Harry Potter
- Katniss Everdeen – Hunger Games
- Clary – Mortal Instruments
- Bella Swan – Twilight
- Ethan Waite – Beautiful Creatures
- Lena – Delirium
- Grace – Shiver
- Zoey Redbird – House of Night Series
- The Baudelaire children – A Series of Unfortunate Events
- Zara – Need
And the list can go on. I understand how having an absent parent can provide the author with the freedom he or she needs to tell the story. Can you imagine bringing home a vampire to your present, connected and observant parents? I don’t think so. And even the majority of the books I listed as having a strong family, they are not the family of the main character (who’s parent is usually absent). And I’ve mentioned that I am in the middle of writing my own YA novel, and guess where dad is? That’s right. Absent. (Although, it is absolutely necessary. I swear!) However, I love to read about strong families. I feel it can add so much to the story. What are some books you’ve read with strong families?