Books that celebrate motherhood

Published 11:46 am Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May in the US, which falls on May 14 this year! Pick up one of these books that celebrates motherhood in many different forms, as well as the relationships between mothers and their children.


The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

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Four mothers, four daughters, four families. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. 


The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika Tubbs

Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women. These three extraordinary women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced. 


Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman

This classic about a baby bird in search of his mother is a perfect read-along all year round! The timeless message of the bond between mother and child makes this book a must for beginning readers.


Summer Island by Kristin Hannah

Years ago, Nora walked out on her marriage and left her daughters behind. She has since become a famous radio talk-show host and newspaper columnist. Her youngest daughter, Ruby, is a struggling comedian who uses her famous mother as fuel for her bitter, cynical humor. When the tabloids unearth a scandalous secret from Nora’s past, their estrangement suddenly becomes dramatic: Nora is injured in an accident and a glossy magazine offers Ruby a fortune to write a tell-all about her mother. Under false pretenses, Ruby returns home to take care of the woman she hasn’t spoken to for almost a decade.


American Baby by Gabrielle Glaser

The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.


Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama’s tale of nighttime drama has charmed readers for over a decade and makes an ideal story for bedtime reading. Children will relate to Baby Llama’s need for comfort, as much as parents will appreciate Mama Llama’s reassuring message.


The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

In this New York Times bestseller and Read with Jenna book club pick, one lapse in judgment lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance, in this surreal debut novel.


Jen Pace Dickenson is the Youth Services Librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call (828) 894-8721.