Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is best dads in literature.
Several best dads on my list aren’t biological fathers, but exemplary guardians, mentors, and father-figures.
Hyperlinked names lead to reviews; hyperlinked titles lead to the actual text. (Yay, webcomics!)
- Ballister Blackheart, Nimona’s nominal boss in Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona. The more teenager-y Nimona acts, the more of an affectionate, bewildered, exasperated dad Blackheart becomes.
- From Rachel Hartman’s Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming, Amy’s dad, Pearl-Agnes’s dad, and Belondweg’s dad.
- Colm Fahey, Jesper’s (mostly) law-abiding farmer father in Leigh Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom.
- Benedict Blackthorn, legally master but in practice and in heart a father to his orphaned apprentice, Christopher, in Kevin Sands’s The Blackthorn Key, and Captain Walker from Kenneth Oppel’s Airborn series, who has a similar although slightly more distant relationship with Matt Cruse.
- Mercy and Tom‘s respective fathers in Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee. Although these fathers do not approve of their children’s choices, they support them and above all, love their wayward offspring.
- Sigrid Sugden’s sort-of stepfather, Seal, in The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden by Jill Maclean.
- Uncle Irwin from The Warriors by Joseph Bruchac.
- Irene’s dad in I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer; ill. Gillian Newland.
- Uncle Argus in Under the Aegis by Vimeddie. When four-year-old Mattie’s parents die in a gas explosion, Argus immediately takes her in, though he is himself only eighteen years old and still a student. Argus and Mattie are extremely close all of their lives – and when Argus meets someone, a suspicious Mattie insists on joining their first date to make sure he is up to snuff.
- Kate’s dad is almost entirely off-stage in Elizabeth Marie Pope’s The Perilous Gard, but his influence on her – most notably his encouragement of her interest in their family’s business, her critical intellectual facilities, and her continuing scholarship in the face of her mother and wider society’s disapproval – is felt throughout the story.
- Shade from Kenneth Oppel’s Firewing.
- Isaac, a shapeshifting wizard and warrior who is something of an adoptive father to Queen Shulamit in Shira Glassman’s Mangoverse books.
- Dr. Nathan Murata, professor of terrestrial ecology, uncle to Emmett and Eileen, advisor to Ben, and also friend to a lot of neat people in Leehama’s ongoing Flowerpot. . Nate seems stern but he’s a sweetheart; as his character description says, “though he tends to act grumpy, he’s actually very good at caring for things.” (“Things” includes people as well as plants.)
Lol, I think Janet’s got most of them! Here are some of my favourites that haven’t already been mentioned in her list:
- Inej’s Father Who I Don’t Think Was Named? from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: He’s present in the narrative only through Inej’s memories, but his advice comes floating to her sometimes and it always seems like good advice. He also speaks in proverbs sometimes which is something my dad does and that endears Mr. Ghafa to me.
- Vijay Shah from When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon: Honestly, I love Dimple’s relationship with her mother more than her relationship with her father; it’s just more interesting. But! Mr. Shah is just so supportive of his daughter, whatever her endeavours are and I like how quick he is to understand her and side with her.
- Iron Man from the All-New, All-Different Avengers comic series: Because my favourite Iron Man power is him being all exasperated about these youths running around making careless mistakes while in superhero garb. Listen, I’m not saying Iron Dad (TM) (Arrogant Attitude Sold Separately) is the best dad, but he isn’t bad at all. At least, not in the first volume.
- Mr. Covey from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: I forgot his name. It’s been a while, sorry! But, as far as I remember, he’s a pretty good father? Lara Jean goes through some pretty difficult things during these books (the two that I’ve read, at least), so I like that he’s there for her–even if he isn’t always in the know.
- Ari and Dante’s Respective Fathers from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: They’re just so supportive of the boys! And even though we don’t get many scenes with them, we get a sense of their interesting, funny, wise personalities. And yes, Ari’s father has issues, but I like that they both try to work through them.
- Shoutout to Dan Bar-el and Gina Perry’s father character in It’s Great Being a Dad. He was pretty sweet. 🙂