Discussion: Moms in YA

Happy May, friends! I’m not dead, I’ve just been insanely busy. I’m going to try to be better about posting, and I figured I’d start with a post about moms in YA lit, since, y’know, it’s coming on Mothers Day here in the US. We’ll focus mostly on spec fic, since that’s what I read and review.

SPOILERS FOR: Fairest (Marissa Meyer)

I just finished reading Fairest (volume 3.5 of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer , so let’s start with Horrible Moms.

From what I’ve seen, Horrible Moms in YA spec fic fit into the categories of Disinterested Moms and Cruel Moms. Somehow, Levana manages to be both.

Horrible Mom: Levana. Technically a stepmom but also a daughter.

Levana is a daughter only in the strictest sense of the word. She barely knew her mother. In one of the few descriptions of her, it says that she could rarely be bothered with her children. So, on a scale of 0, (“literally the worst mom in literature”) to 10 (“omg I want her to be real so she can be my mom”) I give her a 1.

As a stepmom, Levana is… um… ok, here come the spoilers. She tries to kill her niece, but she gets her stepdaughter out of the room so the stepdaughter won’t die also. So….. um… -6? The stepdaughter hates her from the beginning, cries whenever L. is around.

Similarly Horrible Moms:

I’m not going to go into all of the rewritten fairy tale stepmothers, but they’re a part of this category as well.

Great Moms in YA Lit?

So, guys, I’m having a problem. I can’t think of a really great mom in YA spec fic to write about. Do you think it’s because the kids of really great moms don’t have to go out into the world as teenagers and save everything?

I thought about the mom in Hunger Games, for example. She was sweet and did her daughters’ hair for the Reaping and everything, but she was kind of useless in terms of keeping the family afloat.

Thoughts? Do you know any great moms in YA lit that I’m missing? Comment below.


5 thoughts on “Discussion: Moms in YA”

  1. Ooh! I would count Kel’s mom in Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small quartet as a great mom. The parents in Not Your Sidekick/Not Your Villain (C.B. Lee) are average to good parents. I think the mom in Quicksilver (R.J. Anderson) is pretty decent, too? Err… Mrs. Weasley?

    I also like the mom in Greenglass House by Kate Milford, which I would put right at the border between MG and YA (the MC is 12 in the first book, 13 in the second).

    I’m coming up with a lot more absent, dead, or just not really present moms than anything else, though.


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