I had the good fortune to speak today in church about the value of fathers. I quoted a lot of sources attesting to the importance of what they do, but I think the best one was this one, from marriagemeaning.org: “Fathers are not a luxury; they make vital contributions to their children’s lives.” How truly grateful I am for the fathers in my life–my husband, my father and father-in-law, and others who have helped along the way. They are, in so many ways, my heroes. I’m also thankful for books that portray fathers in a realistic and positive light. Here are my top five, not in any order:

Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy: 

Mayor of Casterbridge cover

The story starts off with the main character, Michael Henchard, selling his wife and child at auction. You wouldn’t think that this would be a powerful story about fatherhood, then, but it is, just not in the way you think.

Heroes for my Son by Brad Meltzer:

Heroes for my Son cover

This is a compilation of short biographical snippets about a variety of historical and popular figures who the author, as a father, wants his son to look up to. If I were to make a similar book for my kids, it would probably have many of the same people in it.

The Knife of Never Letting go by Patrick Ness:

Knife of Never Letting Go

I’ve already raved about this book here. The fathers in this book are those of the main character Todd, but they are father figures rather than biological fathers. Still, the role they play in this book (and the others of the series) and the admiration that Todd has for them are what make this a good read.

Over Sea Under Stone by Susan Cooper:

Over Sea Under Stone

In this Chronicles-of-Narnia-meets-Indiana-Jones book, the first in the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper, the family plays a somewhat significant role, which I find refreshing, since so many middle-grade and YA books these days remove them from the picture.

All You Ever Need by Max Lucado:

All You Ever Need

Really all of Max Lucado’s children’s books are great reads about fathers because they are wonderfully powerful and sweet analogies of the role of our Heavenly Father in our lives. I can’t express how thankful I am that I know that there is a “bigger picture” beyond this life, and that He is there watching over me.

What books featuring fathers, by fathers for their kids, or for fathers are your favorites?

Top Five Books About Fathers
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