Monday, May 3, 2010

Books for Mom's Day

In honor of the great women in my life, I present a list of recent reads and long-time favorite books that feature moms or mother figures I love.  Some of these might make good gifts, while others are books I read to appreciate the sufferings and joys of motherhood.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak  
Long-time Favorite 
A classic kids' book, this story makes me thankful Mom loves me even when I'm a Wild Thing and shows her love with hot dinners. 

Stuart Little by E. B. White 
Long-time Favorite
True motherly affection is loving a child even when he's another species. 

Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman
Long-time Favorite
I remember Momma reading this story to me at bedtime.  No one fits and makes it all better like Momma. 

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare 
Long-time Favorite
Aunt Rachel takes in main character Kit when she has nowhere to go.  Hannah, the solitary old woman beside the pond, gives me the feeling of soft protection, enveloping warmth, and supporting grace that comes from Mom.  

Milagros: Girl from Away by Meg Medina 
Recent Read 
Milagros learns to treasure her mother despite Rosa's odd ways, and Rosa goes to extraordinary and magical lengths to find and rescue her daughter. 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Long-time Favorite
Mrs. Murry is a single mother of four when the story opens.  She is a scientist who still finds time for hot chocolate with her wayward teen.  You can see why Meg later becomes a great mother. 

Long-time Favorite and Recent Read 
Maybe you shouldn't give these to mom until after you've read them.  These books capture the sufferings and sacrifices of motherhood as Mrs. Lev loves and supports her son and husband who are often at odds. 

Letter to my Daughter by Maya Angelou
Recent Read
Maya Angelou's letters to the daughter she never had illuminate a sliver of what we can learn from all women, not just those who raise us or have children. 

Changes by Jim Butcher
Recent Read
I'm waiting for "one of these things isn't like the others" to start playing, but this book shows how a mother's selfless fight for her child can transform her from a character I loathed since page fifty, book one to a sympathetic character whose actions moved me to tears. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
Long-time Favorite
Mrs. Bennet is the picture of batty devotion and I-know-what's-best, which is why she's endured as one of literature's most lovable moms. 

And in a tie for my favorite mom book....
Long-time Favorite
This book changed me.  It helped shape me into who I am.  I think that is mom-worthy. 

A Live Coal in the Sea by Madeleine L’Engle 
Long-time Favorite 
Three contrasting mothers and embodiments of motherhood form the heart of the novel.  It starts off with the question, "Are you my grandmother," and becomes an emotional, paradigm-changing search for how to define a mother. 

What about you?  Who are your favorite literary moms? What books changed, expanded, or shaped your thoughts on motherhood?


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