Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite YA Dads

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Top Ten Tuesday post about some of my favorite moms in young adult fiction. Now that Father’s Day is just around the corner, I’d like to talk about my favorite dads and father figures in this genre.

1. Jack from Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child.

Jack and his wife had been childless for decades before this tale began. After they built a child out of snow on a whim one day, their lives began to change in ways they never could have imagined. I enjoyed the fantasy elements of the plot as much as I did the more serious and sad parts of it.

2. Mr. Fox from Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. 

Every time I reread this book, I remember how hard Mr. Fox worked to take care of his family. He always made sure they had something to eat, even if he had to sneak into several different farms to find their dinner.

3. The father from Ann Taylor’s Baby Dance.

This was such a joyful picture book. It makes me grin every time I reread it because of how much the father in it loved dancing with his little girl while her mom slept.

4. Fred and Clark from David-Matthew Barnes’ Wonderland.

After Destiny’s mother died of cancer, uncle Fred and his husband took her in. What surprised me the most about these father figures is how they made the transformation from two people who didn’t necessarily seem all that interested in becoming parents to two people who really loved their new daughter.

5. The father in Thanhhà Lai’s Listen, Slowly.

Mai, the main character, went through a selfish stage in this story. As much as I liked her father in the beginning, I only grew to appreciate him more as I saw how he guided his daughter to see the world from other people’s perspectives. That isn’t always an easy thing to do with kids her age, but he did it wonderfully.

6. Bobby from Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last.

Bobby was both the main character of this book as well as a single, teen dad. When his girlfriend experienced severe complications from the pregnancy, he had to figure out how to raise their daughter alone and plan a good future for both of them.

7. Dad and Papa from Jessica Verdi’s My Life After Now. 

Lucy’s dads were so loving and supportive. I was especially interested in how they approached conversations with her about her adoption and her diagnosis later on in the plot. There was no doubt in my mind that they were going to face her future together as a family.

8. Robert Quimby from Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Her Father.

Robert was always patient and affectionate with his kids. It was also amusing to see how he reacted to some of Ramona’s creative hijinks in this book. Based on his reactions, she clearly got her sense of humor from her dad!

9. Ed Boone from Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Not only was Ed a single parent, his son Christopher had been diagnosed with autism. Ed figured out all kinds of creative ways to help his son become independent and cope with the most challenging parts of his life. I also really liked seeing how this father and son stuck together when they went through hard times. They really cared about each other, and it showed.

10. Arthur Weasley from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

Just like his wife Molly, Arthur was an excellent parent and parent figure in this series. He genuinely loved all of the kids in his life, and he would have done anything necessary to protect them. I also really loved seeing how he interacted with his kids in general. He was a little embarrassing at times for them, but he always had good intentions.

How about you? Who are some of your favorite fictional dads?


  1. Arthur Weasley is one of my all-time favorite dads! He’s amazing <3

  2. My favourite fictional dad is either Mr Bennet or Atticus Finch!

  3. I haven’t read most of these, but I of course agree about Mr. Weasley! I also love Starr’s dad from The Hate U Give and Simon’s dad from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I really want to read The Snow Child!
    My TTT

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my list. The Snow Child was fantastic. I hope you’re able to read it soon.

      Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda sounds very interesting. I’ve added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I haven’t read any of these apart from HP and yes, Arthur is the best!

  5. A very interesting list! I’ve read none of these books except from Harry Potter.

  6. Jack and Molly are fabulous choices!

  7. So glad to see Arthur Weasley on so many lists. The Snow Child has been on my TBR for a long time. I need to read it soon. Great choices!

    • Astilbe says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Alicia. Arthur was on a ton of lists this week.

      Hopefully you’ll be able to read The Snow Child soon. It was excellent.

  8. Great list! My favorite fictional dad is Esau from The Study Series by Maria V. Snyder.

    • Astilbe says:

      Thanks, Ashley. I haven’t read The Study Series yet, but the blurb for Poison Study was very interesting.

  9. The Snow Child sounds incredible… and Listen, Slowly… what a great list…

  10. I love a bit of Roald Dahl! Considering that a lot of his books have neglectful fathers, it’s lovely that he has one or two that are witty and supportive of their children. Mr. Fox isn’t the only great dad written by Roald Dahl though. We can never forget Grandpa Joe, he’s definitely one of my favourite childhood characters. So kind and jolly. 😀

    • Astilbe says:

      Exactly, Vena! Roald didn’t write about many good dads, but Grandpa Joe and Mr. Fox were two of them.

  11. I think I remember Fantastic Mr. Fox, very vaguely. Must have read it as a kid. I need to go back and read some Roald Dahl.

  12. Arthur seems to be quite popular today! Great list!

  13. Bobby sounds intriguing, I might have to add it to my every growing TBR.

  14. Robert Quimby is a great fictional dad. I had a really hard time coming up with others, so I ended up going in a different direction for this TTT. Now I want to check out these books so I can see what a great fictional dad looks like! I wish there were more present and supportive parental figures in children’s and YA fiction. It seems like most characters are either orphans or dealing with seriously dysfunctional family lives.

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