So who's your favourite mom? In the literary world, of course.
When searching for literary moms, my mind immediately turned to the books I enjoyed so much as a child. Anne of Green Gables. The Hobbit. Nancy Drew.
Hmmm. No moms in those ones. A lot of my favourite MG & YA books follow this pattern, no parents, or more specifically, no moms. There are often mother figures who aren't moms, and sometimes aren't even women (check out last year's post for more on that!), but where are the moms?
Harry Potter's mom is an influence on him, but she's not around much. Ron's mom, however, is an awesome mother figure!
Katniss Everdeen's mom is mostly broken by her life and the loss of her husband.
In Ranger's Apprentice, Will is an orphan.
In fact, in many of the books I read aloud to the kid, moms are notably absent from their lives or at least from the story. The Giver. Dogsled Dreams. Maniac Magee. The Outsiders. Leviathan. Hatchet. Invitation to the Game. Underground to Canada.
I think it's because moms are such powerful influences in our lives. There are a lot of things we don't do because we can hear our moms saying, "Do you think that's such a good idea?" They are often our moral compasses, our guides. At least for us lucky ones.
Fiction for young people is often much more interesting when the main characters have to provide their own moral compasses, choose their own paths. It makes it more difficult for the character, and thus much more fun for us! Especially for kids who often wonder what it would be like to make their own decisions all the time. Kids who imagine themselves in charge. No wonder books with absentee parents are so popular!
So who's your favourite literary mom?
I'll be over at From the Write Angle tomorrow (Monday May 9th) discussing Info Dumps. I hope you'll find time to pop over and add your thoughts to the discussion!