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Jo Z

Ok, I am going to assume that the parents don't need to be dead, but absent counts too. I too read a lot of YA literature (mainly because I belong to a mock Newbery club) and find the "no parents around to guide or influence us" a reoccurring theme. The most recent book I've encountered in this category is the 2013 Newbery Honor book "Three Times Lucky" by Sheila Turnage. The protagonist, Miss Moses LoBeau, is not sure what happened to her mother. Throughout the book Miss LoBeau tries to get in touch with her by sending off notes with the salutation 'Dear Upstream Mother' that she puts in bottles and sends down river. I found the notes endearing, though the mother never materializes and Mo (as she is called by everyone in town) pieces together her own "family."


Wow, I can't think of any that don't at least have absent parents. Maybe not dead but traveling parents or the children are runaways. Have you read Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos? I actually like adventures with absent parents. Strong adventurous children thrill me but I'm always interested in children's book recommendations.


All YA books have to have a way to make the children independent so there is a conflict that the children have to forge ahead without failure. Sad, but true most of the books have the children "lose" their parents or guardians in some way or other. Throughout the book the struggles give the children strength, determination, perseverance, and commitment - all strong characteristics for all people.

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