For many reasons – not least the need for teens to be free enough to do things – parents are often absent in YA novels. So, I thought I’d celebrate some cool parental characters in recent reads. OK, so some of them are not actually the character’s birth parents, but sometimes that’s the important thing.
Parents getting it right
These are the parents that fly the flag for good parenting. Loving and supportive, if not always perfect (since they are human…), these are the good guys of UKYA parenting.
Pearl’s Dad in The Year of the Rat
Poor man – bereaved of his wife and with a new baby and a not-always-coping-terribly-well teen daughter, Pearl’s Dad has it hard. I think one of the multiple things this novel succeeds at is extending reader sympathy to many of the secondary characters as well as Pearl, and Dad certainly has that.
Foster and adoptive parents in Blood Family
One of the many, many strengths of this beautifully written novel lies in the characters of Eddie’s foster and adoptive parents. There may be mistakes made, but for a wonderfully human depiction of learning to live together and care no matter what is thrown at you, this is a fabulous read.
Parents we’re glad aren’t ours
(or that we hope we’re not like, for the more mature YA reader like myself…). Not actually cruel and abusive parents, but those that are just downright getting it wrong.
Blossom’s parents in Weirdos vs Quimboids
OMG. How much would you die if your parents danced naked in the back garden at each full moon? I loved this not-so-gentle send-up of hippy vegan right-on parents. Poor Blossom!
Taylor’s Dad in The Weight of Souls
I really liked that, instead of the standard urban fantasy/chosen one type trope of the family being unaware, Taylor gets a Dad who utterly refuses to accept her position of being ‘marked’ by ghosts to make her help them resolve their deaths. Despite her curse being inherited from her mother, he has spent most of her life searching for a cure for the skin disease and associated mental illness. A nice additional layer of complication for poor Taylor.
Find out more about these titles at Goodreads: