Iconic Mothers From Great Children’s Books

Mothers can be great, and fictional mothers are no exception! Read on for some wonderful mothers in children’s books.

Book Culture Fiction Opinions Recommendations Young Readers
Book covers of 'Matilda,' 'The Secret Garden,' and 'Ramona and Her Mother' against a cloudy purple background.

There are some really great mothers in fiction, especially in children’s books. Mothers who are kind, loving, encouraging, supportive, and so much more. They play an integral role on the story, usually for theirimpact on their child(ren). Despite this, they don’t get as much as love they deserve, so I’m here to fix that! Read on to learn more.

Sally Jackson from Percy Jackson

'Percy Jackson Lightning Thief' by Rick Riordan book cover with the Empire State Building, a lightning bolt, atrident, and a helmet.
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What’s not to love about this wonderful woman? She’s smart, kind, understanding, and completely supportive of her son. She sacrificed so much for him, and it’s because of her that Percy grew up to be brave and compassionate to those around him. It was hard for her as a single parent — since Poseidon had to leave and Gabe was, well, Gabe —and she did make mistakes, but everything she did was with Percy’s best interests at heart. She did her best to protect him from the world of gods and monsters, and when he was thrust into it, did her best to support him.

Jennifer Honey from Matilda

'Matilda' by Roald Dahl book cover showing Matilda reading a book and surrounded by other books.
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Miss Honey was always kind and supportive of her students, and she and Matilda shared a special bond even before she adopted the young girl. She encouraged Matilda’s genius and thirst for knowledge when no one else did. She didn’t have much power but she used what she could to protect those under her care. And, perhaps most importantly, she takes Matilda to live with her not only because she loves her, but also to protect her from her family. Miss Honey didn’t want Matilda to keep growing up suffering under abuse as she had had to do.

Susan Sowerby from The Secret Garden

'Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett and illustrated by Tasha Tudor book cover showing Mary stepping into the secret garden.
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Susan Sowerby is only seen once in the book, but she had a tremendous impact on the main characters. Her love and warmth are reflected in all her twelve children, particularly Martha and Dickon, and this extends to Mary and Colin as well. Despite not having much money, she sends baked goods and milk with Dickon when he goes to visit them, and she bought a skipping rope for Mary to encourage her to go outside more. When she did meet Mary and Colin, who had no mothers, she treated them like her own children by making sure they had plenty to eat, hugging them, and listening to them talk.

Rita Keyes from Sammy Keyes

'Sammy Leyes and the Hotel Thief' by Wendelin Van Draanen book cover showing Sammy as well as a hand reaching for a purse.
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When her daughter, Lana, left Sammy behind to pursue an acting career, Rita made sure to take great care of her granddaughter. She lived in an apartment complex only for senior citizens but she did her best to provide and protect Sammy while concealing that she lived there too. Rita always worries when Samny gets into dangerous situations as she pursues mysteries and struggles through junior high, but she’s nonetheless supportive of her.

Dorothy Quimby from Ramona

'Ramona and Her Mother' by Beverly Cleary book cover showing Ramona and Dorothy hugging.
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Dorothy doesn’t worry about being the perfect mother for Beezus and Ramona, and that’s part of what makes her so great. She focuses more on being a good mom, such as teaching her children the consequences of their actions. When her daughters complained about what she made for dinner one night, she and her husband made them fix dinner the next night, and they gained a new appreciation for their mother. She also helps with their problems, no matter how trivial, and while she gives great advice, she also tells them when they’ve done something wrong. She just wants her daughters to grow up well.

If you have a good relationship with your mom, don’t forget to tell her how much she means to you!


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