Teen Librarian Toolbox
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The #bestYAdad list is a present to my husband.  That’s right, I’m super cheap – but creative.  You see, The Mr. is an excellent father.  I pick ’em good I tell ya.  But also, I was reading Eleanor and Park, which does make this list, and was so impressed with the dad I though to myself: “Self, what other great YA dads are out there?”  So I crowd sourced the answer.

Here are some of the nominees . . .

#bestYAdad Nominees

Kimberly Alberts: Meghan, Hans Huberman from The Book Thief is my favorite book dad.

Melinda Bruce: Luke isn’t Clary’s dad, in City of Bones, but he’s close enough and he’s great.

Richa Parande: Anna’s dad in Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Tracy Weikel: I’ll always love Matthew Cuthbert. Other favorite YA lit dads include Arthur Weasley and Atticus Finch (of course), Sam from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe, and Denny Hall (If I Stay).

Erinn Batykefer: Love the dads in Lola and the Boy Next Door kicked ass

Melinda Bruce: Luke isn’t Clary’s dad, in City of Bones, but he’s close enough and he’s great.

Barbara Lowe: Mr. Austin in Madeleine L’Engle’s books about the Austin family.

Anonymous: The #bestYAdad that I immediately thought of is Bobby in The First Part Last by Angela Johnson. Being a teen father is HARD!  

Anonymous: One of the #bestyadads is Charlie Swan. #Twilight.

Kym: Dante’s dad in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Love him!! 


Atticus Finch
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

Without a doubt Atticus Finch is the epitome of the wise, loving, patient dad.  I thought it was interesting that so many considered this book YA, and if it was published today it would probably be published as YA.  To me, it is sheer perfection.     

Atticus Finch: “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”

Ken Deitz
Please Ignore Vera Dietz
A. S. King 

Vera Dietz is struggling with the death of her former best friend who screwed her over big time.  To say she is in a bad place emotionally is to put it mildly.  Ken Dietz is an amazing dad who is raising his daughter all on his home – will the help of some flowcharts.  Flowcharts can help you answer all of life’s great questions.  My favorite is the Ken Dietz Face Your Shit Flowchart.  

Ken Dietz: “the trick is remembering that you are the boss of you.”

Denny Hall
If I Stay
Gayle Forman

One of the things I loved most about this book, outside of its hands down just amazing writing, was that it contained such a beautiful, healthy and loving intact family.  Both of the parents are active, engaged.  Denny Hall is a fine choice. 

Denny Hall: “Alice Cooper? Have we no standards? At least sing the Ramones.”
Park’s Dad
Eleanor and Park
by Rainbow Rowell

Park’s dad does exactly the right think in the moment that matters most.  In this one act he helps save a girl, demonstrates wisdom about the wrongness in some men, and expresses faith in Park.  I never knew that the act of handing over your car keys could speak such a powerful message.

I can’t quote the dad from Eleanor and Park here because in a rare moment of responsible library user behavior, I returned the book.  Possibly even on time. Maybe.

Matthew Cuthbert
Anne of Green Gables
by L M Montgomery

Oh, Matthew.  You sir, are a beautiful man.  You took in this red headed wonder, accepted her for who she was, loved her, and gave her the puffiest sleeves ever.  Matthew Cuthbert is Da Bomb as we once would say.  You stood up in the moments that mattered.  Honestly, I never would have thought of him when thinking about making this list, because I was thinking more recent titles, but once everyone started nominating him I thought, “Of course!”

Matthew Cuthbert:
“I never wanted a boy. I only wanted you from the first day. Don’t ever change. I love my little girl. I’m so proud of my little girl.”

What about the worst?

 Kelly Jensen (no relation, thanks for asking) over at Stacked has a list of the worst YA dads.  She technically calls her list Complicated Father Relationships, but some of those dads are hands down the worst dads ever imaginable, like the dads from Scowler and This is Not a Test.  The dad from Flawed also fits on this list.  In fact, I think it is a lot easier to think of bad examples then good ones.  Either way, share your best and worst YA dads in the comments. 

And Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.