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Celebrating Mother's Day

Mom, Mommy, Mum, Ma, Mamá, Mother... whatever name you use, Happy Mother's Day! Enjoy this booklist for all ages..

Find more reading suggestions at Books & Media.

 Mother's Day Gifts book jacket

Mother's Day Gifts by Anastasia Suen

Little kids remain the most prolific makers of all. Without access to income or even allowance, and allowed a great deal of aesthetic leeway in their finished products, young kids need and want to make things to give to all of the great people in their lives. Easy to follow mother's day gift craft instructions for makerspaces, home activities, and classrooms.

Children's Nonfiction

 Hawk Mother book jacket

Hawk Mother by Kara Hagedorn

Named an "Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12" by the National Science Teachers Association and Children's Book Council. What happens when two baby chickens find themselves in a nest with a hawk? Don’t hawks usually eat chickens? Sunshine, a red-tailed hawk, can no longer fly free. But her instinct to be a mother is so strong that she builds a nest in her aviary every spring and lays two infertile eggs. One year, Kara, her caretaker, decides to try something different. She gives Sunshine two chicken eggs.Join zoologist Kara Hagedorn and Sunshine to find out what happens in this delightful story of interspecies cooperation.

Children's Nonfiction

 How Mamas Love their Babies book jacket

How Mamas Love their Babies by Juniper Fitzgerald

Mamas work in different ways to take care of their babies, but everything they do is because of love. Illustrating the myriad ways that mothers provide for their children, it provides an expanded notion of working mothers and challenges the idea that only some jobs result in good parenting. We’re reminded that, while every mama’s work looks different, every mama works to make their baby’s world better.

Children's Nonfiction

 Bloom book jacket

Bloom by Deborah Diesen

Dig holes in the autumn soil. Drop the bulbs in one by one. Cover them with dirt. Come spring, the bulbs will flower! In this lushly illustrated story from Deborah Diesen that celebrates life and growing up, a mother and daughter plant a garden to see how something small blooms into something as beautiful and strong as their love.

Children's Fiction

 Everything is Mama book jacket

Everything is Mama by Jimmy Fallon

Everything is . . .MAMA! Jimmy Fallon, one of the most popular entertainers in the world and NBC's Tonight Show host, was on a mission with his first children's book to have every baby's first word be DADA. And it worked! A lot of babies' first words were DADA. However, everything after that was MAMA. So take a lighthearted look at the world from your baby's point of view as different animals try to teach their children that there are other words in addition to MAMA for familiar objects and activities.

Children's Fiction

 Away book jacket

Away by Emil Sher

Between work and school, homework and housework, a mother and daughter don’t always get to spend as much time together as they’d like. Add to that a little girl’s fears about leaving home for the first time, and the need to stay close through handwritten notes becomes even more important. As the camp departure date gets closer, Mom does her best to soothe her daughter’s nerves. A visit from her grandmother helps to calm her fears and convince her that she’ll have a good time, even away from her mother and beloved cat. Camp ends up being a wonderful adventure – but nothing is sweeter than a back-at-home reunion.

Children's Fiction

 Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces book jacket

Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces by Dawn Davies

If you're looking for a parenting book, this is not it. This is not a treatise on how to be a mother. Davies is a woman who finds humor in difficult pregnancies and post-partum depression (after reading "Pie" you might never eat Thanksgiving dessert the same way). She is a divorcee who unexpectedly finds second love. She is a happily married suburban wife who nevertheless makes a mental list of all the men she would have slept with. And she is a parent who finds herself tested in ways she could never imagine. In stories that cut to the quick, Davies explores passion, loss, illness, pain, and joy, told from her singular, gimlet-eyed, hilarious perspective.

Adult Nonfiction

 Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love book jacket

Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love by Zack McDermott

Zack McDermott, a 26-year-old Brooklyn public defender, woke up one morning convinced he was being filmed as part of an audition for a TV pilot. Every passerby was an actor; every car would magically stop for him; everything he saw was a cue from "The Producer" to help inspire the performance of a lifetime. After a manic spree around Manhattan, Zack, who is bipolar, was arrested and admitted to Bellevue Hospital and so begins the story of McDermott's freefall into psychosis and his desperate, poignant, often hilarious struggle to claw his way back to sanity. It's a journey that will take him from New York City back to his Kansas roots and to the one person who might be able to save him, his tough, big-hearted Midwestern mother, nicknamed the Bird, whose fierce and steadfast love is the light in Zack's dark world.

Adult Nonfiction

 Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World book jacket

Casting Lots: Creating a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World by Susan Silverman

Rabbi Susan Silverman built her own big, unwieldy family through both birth and adoption, something she had intended from childhood. With three daughters and two sons ( “We produce girls and import boys" ), this unique family becomes a metaphor for the world's contradictions and complexities, a microcosm of the tragedy and joy, hope and despair, cruelty and compassion, predictability and absurdity of this world we all live in. A meditation on identity, faith, and belonging, one that's as funny as it is moving.

Adult Nonfiction

 Pigs in Heaven book jacket

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsover

In this sequel to The Bean Trees, Taylor Greer’s life in Tucson with her adopted daughter Turtle is going really well. She has a steady job, a charming musician boyfriend who also loves Turtle, and she’s learned how to be a wonderful mother to her daughter. When Turtle helps save the life of a man at the Hoover Dam, both mother and daughter end up on television, bringing them to the attention of lawyer Annawake Fourkiller, who knows that Turtle’s adoption can’t possibly be legal. Faced with the prospect of losing her daughter, Taylor goes on the run with Turtle. Meanwhile, Taylor’s mother Alice, concerned for her daughter and granddaughter, travels from Kentucky to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma to search for clues to Turtle’s past and a solution that will allow Taylor and Turtle to stay together. The deep, and sometimes fierce, love that Alice and Taylor both have for their families make this a great read to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Adult Fiction

 The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane book jacket

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Li-Yan, the only daughter of a tea growing family in the Yunnan province of China, gives birth secretly and leaves her daughter in another village to prevent the people of her village from killing the infant. Over the next 20 years, Li-Yan eventually becomes an entrepreneur in the world of tea, and marries a wealthy businessman, but she never forgets the baby she was forced to abandon. Her daughter, named Haley by her adopted family, is raised in a loving home in California. Despite her privileged upbringing and her love for her adopted family, Haley yearns to know her birth mother. This novel celebrates the unconditional love of mothers for their children, and the unbreakable bonds between them.

Adult Fiction

 Moxie book jacket

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Vivi Carter’s main image of her mom is that of a hardworking single mother that loves her daughter very much. But in her youth, her mom was a full-fledged Riot Grrrl, embracing the feminist punk lifestyle and using her creativity to give young women a voice. Vivi is more of a stay-under-the-radar type, but when the blatant sexism of her high school becomes too much to bear, Vivi follows her mother’s example and creates a ‘zine called Moxie, which calls for the girls at her high school to band together and stand against the misogyny they face on a daily basis. Although, as with any mother-daughter relationship, Vivian and her mom don’t always see eye-to-eye, Moxie provides a great story of how teens can gain courage and inspiration from their moms.

Teen Fiction

 Saving Montgomery Sole book jacket

Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki

Montgomery Sole has two mothers. It’s one of the aspects of her life – along with being Canadian and having an interest in the unexplained – that makes her an oddity in the small town of Aunty, California. She has always struggled with how to handle the teasing of other students, but when a homophobic preacher moves to town and directly against Montgomery’s family, her anger causes her to lash out, even at the people who love her. It takes the wisdom and love of Momma Kate and Momma Jo, as well as her other family and friends, to teach her that people are more complicated than they seem on the surface, and that there are better ways to deal with opposition than through revenge.

Teen Fiction

 Dark Star book jacket

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette

Audrey Whitticomb’s mother is Morning Star, a vigilante who watches over the city of Minneapolis – at least, that’s what Audrey thinks. After a series of murders takes place in the city, Audrey learns that her she and her mother are actually part of the Kin, humans with superpowers who protect people from Harrowers, demonic creatures determined to destroy the world. Audrey decides to use her own power – a form of clairvoyance that her grandmother refers to as “Knowing” – to fight against the new Harrowers’ attack. Although Dark Star focuses on Audrey and her journey of coming into her own strength, Audrey’s relationship with her mother is strong and heartfelt, and Morning Star herself is an amazing example of a powerful woman and mother.

Teen Fiction