Mother's come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few recommended reads for preteens that feature an influential maternal figure.
Coraline: Fans of the macabre may appreciate Coraline's creepy journey through a door in her house that leads to a mysterious world. Like many stories about fantastic quests, her experiences with the "Other Mother" (complete with button eyes), while seemingly wonderful, point out the warmth and safety available at home.
A Monster Calls: Patrick Ness's dark novel balances a bit of fantasy with harsh reality, as thirteen-year-old Conor begins seeing monsters after his mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. Ness shows that monsters, as well as dark incidents, are not always dangerous as they actually help Conor cope with loss, bullying, and moving on.
One Crazy Summer: When three sisters go to visit their mother for the summer, they get more than they bargained for when they learn she is more interested in her poetry than her daughters and wants to send them to a Black Panther camp. In an entertaining way, this book presents some of the positive aspects of the Panthers, such as education programs and free community breakfasts.