Famous Moms in Literature You Need to Know

Famous Moms in Literature You Need to Know

By Megan Habel , May 8th 2015

 famous moms in literature

Who's your favorite famous mom in literature?

Books are filled with unforgettable characters. In celebration of Mother's Day, we're rounding up a few of the most memorable literary mothers!

Bird from P.D. Eastman's Are You My Mother?

are you my mother 

This book, about a little bird who hatches a bit too early and goes in search of his mother, is the most perfect book for Mother’s Day. The little bird asks a whole cast of characters, from the living to the inanimate, if they are his mother. With each response, the newly hatched bird learns that they are not in fact his mother. We have all been this little bird at some point. Whether we’ve lost our mom in a department store or can’t even find her in our own house, that desperate feeling when you’re looking for your mom is all too real. Spoiler alert: much to the reader's joy, he does, in fact, find his mother.


Molly Weasley from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series

harry potter

I hate to admit it, but I have never read the very, very, very popular Harry Potter series. I have nothing against it, but I just missed the boat and felt like it was too late to get on. However, if I have learned anything from the movies and from conversations with countless friends on the topic, Molly Weasley is an amazing fictional mother. Molly is the mother of seven children, including Harry’s BFF Ron. She will fight for her children no matter what. While Molly is able to use actual magic to help her children, all mothers are magical in their own way.


Mrs. Joe from Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

great expectations

No one said this list is going to be full of only good mothers! Though Mrs. Joe is actually the sister of main character Pip, she acts a lot more like his mother — a very terrifying, abusive mother. Take a page from this book: you do not want to be a mother like Mrs. Joe.


Zofia "Sophie" Zawistowski from William Styron's Sophie's Choice

sophies choice

Think picking what your kids should wear every morning is difficult? Zofia "Sophie" Zawistowski has to make a heart wrenching decision that no mother should ever have to make. This book is good if you’re looking to feel the true weight of motherhood and maybe cry a lot. You may also want to consider watching the film version starring Meryl Streep because — well, it’s Meryl Streep.


Marmee (Mrs. March) from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

little women

Fictional moms don’t really get more perfect than Marmee, or Mrs. March, mother of the March daughters (AKA the little women). Marmee attends to the needs of her entire household, no matter what. She can always be relied on regardless of the problem. This may be a very unrealistic expectation for any person, particularly a mother... but nevertheless, Marmee is the true embodiment of all things domestic and mother-like.


The Tree from Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree

the giving tree

She may not actually be a mother, but the tree provides the boy with love and understanding like any great mother would. The tree's journey with the young boy parallels that of a mother and a child. The tree provides the boy with what he needs and wants. The little boy loves the tree and the tree finds happiness in caring for the boy. Eventually, like any mother, the tree watches the young boy grow up and continues to give him everything she can, even as his desires change. The tree gives all she can because making the boy happy makes her happy.


You can find all of these books, as well as other great books about mothers, on BookPal's Literacy & Education Bookshelf.

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We hope everyone has a lovely Mother's Day this year!


This post was written by Sydney Moorhead, a customer service associate at BookPal. She loves reading (so much so that she majored in literature) and is currently working through Work Rules by Laszlo Bock, Do Over by Jon Acuff, Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath and Stir by Jessica Fechtor.

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