Top Ten Books with Strong Families

toptentuesdayTop 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The March Family from Little Women. I don’t need to explain this one!
  5. 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.

  1. Harry Potter
  2. Katniss Everdeen – Hunger Games
  3. Clary – Mortal Instruments
  4. Bella Swan – Twilight
  5. Ethan Waite – Beautiful Creatures
  6. Lena  – Delirium
  7. Grace – Shiver
  8. Zoey Redbird – House of Night Series
  9. The Baudelaire children – A Series of Unfortunate Events
  10.  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?


13 thoughts on “Top Ten Books with Strong Families

  1. It’s interesting that many of the people in your ‘missing/absent parent’ list have a co-character on the ‘strong families’ list. Harry Potter, Twilight, Beautiful Creatures. Maybe we all need a functional family to model even if we don’t have one ourselves.

    • Very true. I think these strong families have the am important role in supporting the ‘ orphaned’ character. I would argue that even in books where there is no family depicted at all there will be a ‘created family’ of sorts.

  2. The Weasley family definitely is one of my favourite families – the warmth and kindness is almost overwhelming. 🙂 I love that the series had one properly functional family because otherwise the portrayal of wizard families would have been a rather dark one. Great idea and list!

  3. This is a great list!!! Family love is one of my favorite things to read about, I am a huge sucker for siblings who would go to the ends of the earth and back for each other!!
    Did you ever read A Wrinkle in Time? The Murry family is right up there with the Weaslys !!

  4. When I think of YA families I always forget to mention Ravenwood/Duchannes family. Like you say they are pretty close.

    Another thing that I found to be overlooked in my reviews is commentary in family. To be honest I love a close strong family in a book!

    Thanks for sharing + great topic! 🙂 xxx

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries

  5. Interesting list this week. The Weasley’s are probably my favourite book family, I love them. They’re amazing and close, but also have their problems just like every family; *cough* Percy *cough*. I remember the Tucks being a very close family too. Brilliant list 🙂 Here’s my TTT

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