Literary fathers – why they’re important

In honour of Fathers Day this month, we’ve set a fatherly theme for all of our August posts. We hope you enjoy the celebration of great men in our lives and books.

A few years ago it seemed that absent or bad mothers were a popular trend in YA fiction. It doesn’t seem so apparent in more recent YA, but one thing I have noticed in both older and newer works is the importance of a fatherly figure. Just like in real life teens need to have a solid role model. Someone who fits the role of mentor as well as protector, and sometimes tormentor. Not only teen boys need a fatherly figure, but girls do too. Dads teach their kids how to drive cars, their boys how to shave, and their girls how to be treated well. Mother’s can definitely do these things too, but often in fiction it’s the dad’s role.

This absence of mother trend in early YA led to many single dads struggling to understand their hormone-driven rebellious daughters and I think, out of that trend we saw some pretty awesome fathers doing the best they could. The first one who springs to mind is

  • Charlie Swan – (Twilight series) He may have been awkward as anything trying to deal with Bella, but Charlie Swan loved his girl and did everything he could to keep her safe and to keep their relationship strong.

Then there are all the YA books that have the absent mother trope reversed. In these stories we often find a fatherly figure stepping up to the plate. These amazing men are by far some of my very favourite characters and I’ve even written one of my own in the Collective Series. Some of my picks include;

  • Harry Potter – With both of his parents dead and horrid stand ins as his guardians, a whole cast of men step in to fill the fatherly role for Harry Potter.  From the brief encounters with Sirus Black to the constant mentoring from Albus Dumbledoor, and even Severus Snape’s protection, Harry certainly has no shortage of wonderful men in his life. Let’s not forget Hargrid the man who’s door is always open to the sometimes emotional and often stressed teen.
  • Luke Garraway – (Mortal Instruments Series) With her real father absent and let’s face it, kind of psychopathic, Luke is a great fill in for Clary Fray. He’s compassionate, caring, and treats her as his own.
  • My Life After Now – this book features not one, but two great Dads, who are both caring, compassionate and present throughout their daughter’s contraction of HIV.ID-100231764

Which fictional fathers are your favourite?

Stacey Nash Stacey Nash has written many fatherly figures; evil dads (Wait! & Remember Me), great dads (Pretend…) and step in fatherly figures (Collective Series, Stolen Sanctuary). To find out more about this young adult author or to connect with her on social media (where she tries to be engaging), check out these places:, instagram, twitter, facebook.




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