This Father’s Day it’s time to celebrate dads! Every dad is different, and the same is definitely true for dads in literature. Bad dads in books are everywhere, but what about the really great father figures for our favorite characters? Look no further: from the classics to YA to even a couple childhood favorites, here are seven great book dads to read about for Father’s Day this year and some of their best quotes.
1. Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
The first dad on this list is one of the classic favorites. Atticus is the father of the main character, Scout, and through her eyes we see her dad as a strong, loving and confident man who is always there for her. Throughout the novel, Atticus takes on the defense of Tom Robinson when no one else will, shaming his community for the racism they show him. Even with all that on his plate, he still makes time to explain things to Scout and encourage her to be whoever she wants to be.
You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change.Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter series
Mr. Weasley is definitely one dad on this list that doesn’t get enough credit. He’s not one of the most important characters in the Harry Potter series, or the most popular, but Arthur is always there to be a father to his children. And not just all seven of his own, but their friends too, taking both Harry and Hermione in when they can’t stay with their own families and making sure they feel welcome and included along the way. Arthur even covers for the trio when they set out on their final quest, lying to the Death Eaters for months to keep them safe, and fights in the final battle alongside them. For all that, he definitely deserves a place on this list.
Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.Arthur Weasley, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
3. Dr. Alex Murry from A Wrinkle in Time
Mr. Murry is Meg’s father in A Wrinkle in Time, although he isn’t there for most of the book, trapped on the planet Camazotz after one of his physics experiments went very wrong. Meg’s dad has been gone for more than a year, but she remembers everything he taught her, and thinks everything will be okay once they find him. Despite his absence, Mr. Murry is a wonderful father to her in her memories, making sure she believes in herself despite what everyone else was telling her. With a dad like that, it’s no wonder she ends up being the real hero of the story.
We were sent here for something. And we know that all things work together for good them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.Mr. Murry, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
4. Ned Stark from the A Song of Ice and Fire series
Ned Stark has a lot of flaws, and his story is definitely a tragic one. But regardless, he is still an amazing father to all of his children. He makes sure to be there for all five of the Stark kids, and his son Jon Snow too. And when his daughter Arya wants to learn to fight, he finds her a teacher, even though everyone else judges her for not conforming. Even when (spoiler alert!) things look pretty bad for him, he does everything he can to protect his children from the same fate. Throughout the rest of the series, his children always remember him as a great father.
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.Ned Stark, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
5. Carlisle Cullen from the Twilight series
Dr. Cullen isn’t really the Cullens’ dad, but he considers himself to be, since he made them all who they are. And Carlisle lives up to the title, leading the entire Cullen family in a peaceful way of life despite their circumstances. Carlisle never wanted to be a vampire, and he has pledged to make amends through his work as a doctor; Edward, especially, looks up to him when he feels disgusted with himself and his kind. He also supports Edward and Bella’s relationship, and makes sure to protect them and help in any way he can. Carlisle might be a 400-year-old vampire trapped in the body of a 21-year-old, but he’s Edward’s dad anyway, and proves that actions are more important than blood (no pun intended).
I think, in most other ways, that I’ve done the best I could with what I had to work with. But was it right to doom the others to this life? I can’t decide.Carlisle Cullen, New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
6. Duke Leto Atreides from Dune
The Duke has a lot on his plate in Dune, reassigned to a planet he knows will probably mean his death. Instead of trying to run from his fate, however, he spends his time on Arrakis trying to save his son Paul, along with Jessica, the woman he loved but couldn’t marry and Paul’s mother. Despite the less-than-great circumstances, he still tries to make sure they can be a family while they can, and imparts as much wisdom to his son as possible before their enemies come for them. The Duke is a classic example of a great book dad, and throughout the rest of the series Paul never forgets his father.
A person needs new experiences. It jars something deep inside, allowing them to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens.Leto Atreides, Dune by Frank Herbert
7. Hans Hubermann from The Book Thief
Oh, Papa. Hans Hubermann isn’t Liesel’s birth father, but he and his wife adopt her at a young age during the beginning of World War II in Germany, and he quickly becomes very close with her. He teaches Liesel to read, takes care of her, and tries to keep her safe in a world where danger is growing every moment. He also takes in a friend’s son, who is Jewish, and hides him from the Nazis as the war rages on, risking his own life for two young people even though he didn’t have to. Papa makes a huge impression on Liesel, and definitely deserves to be “the one she loves most”.
He came in every night and sat with her. The first couple of times, he simply stayed—a stranger to kill the aloneness. A few nights after that, he whispered, ‘Shhh, I’m here, it’s all right.’… The girl knew from the outset that Hans Hubermann would always appear midscream, and he would not leave.Death, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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