September means back to school for millions of people of all ages. Since I work in a school and being September already, I wanted to do a back to school post. I thought about the awesome teachers I’ve been so lucky to work with. How could I tie this into books?
I was fortunate enough to have had a lot of great teachers when I was a student. In hindsight, I wish I’d had a mentor to guide me because while I did well enough academically, I struggled in other areas where a mentor could have made a difference when I had no idea how to help myself.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines mentor (noun) as “a trusted counselor or guide” and as a “tutor, coach.” A Google search also yields this result, “an experienced and trusted advisor” (noun) who “advise[s] or train[s] (someone, especially a younger colleague)” (verb).
Throughout my reading journey I’ve come across plenty of book characters who have guided the (usually) main character during periods of darkness, uncertainty, rejection, sadness, and fear. They don’t make decisions for the character, but provide as much as they could all the tools and knowledge necessary to make an informed decision or conclusion. They helped characters to find the power within themselves to achieve their goals, independence, empathy, and responsibility. The characters come out a better version of their previous self for having known these mentor-esque individuals.
Thinking a lot about the positive impact mentors can have on someone, I decided to write a blog post about my favorite book mentors.
Lark, Niko, Frostpine, Rosethorn to Sandry, Tris, Daja, Briar
Circle of Magic series
Sometimes unusual magic requires a specific kind of assistance. In the Circle of Magic series, four young, newfound mages with unique magic are sent to Winding Circle to cultivate and learn to use their powers. Four distinct, powerful individuals (Lark, Niko, Frostpine, and Rosethorn) are brought in to instruct Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar.
What I love about these mentors is their personality, their gifts, their approach to magic and life, and how they bring out the best in their mentees. They bring out who these kids are deep down and allow them to flourish. Much of what Sandry, Trish, Daja, and Briar overcome be partially attributed to the guidance (and home) their mentors gave them.
Harriet Barnett to Aidan Hall
All Night Long with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews
Once a Hall, always a Hall. Expect the worst – or so it’s believed.
In my review of All Night Long with a Cowboy, I mentioned my displeasure over assumptions people made of characters, especially teenage bad boy, Aidan. These assumptions have caught Aidan in a never-ending cycle of bad behavior too strong to fight. Until Harriet decides to do something about it.
Harriet is patient, matter-of-fact, practical, and a no-nonsense kind of person. In the summer, she has gotten some struggling students to slowly but sure achieve some kind of academic success. She also sees Aidan for who he really is and is willing to help Aidan (as long as he puts forth the effort to) change and go after what he really wants for his life. I really like where Aidan’s storyline ended.
Halt to Will
Ranger’s Apprentice series
Halt is a wonderfully grumpy and grizzled Ranger, renowned Ranger throughout the kingdom of Araluen. When he’s not defending the kingdom or on a mission, he typically stays out of sight (a feat as easy as breathing for a Ranger), tucked away in his cabin with his horse, Abelard, his only company. Before the start of the series, he’s only ever had one apprentice. So imagine his (and probably everyone’s) surprise when he decides to make young Will an apprentice Ranger.
Halt is very good with Will even if people-ing is not his strong suit and unnecessary questions are the bane of his existence. Eventually, the two form a bond that exceeds blood and the mentor-mentee relationship.
Hugo to Wallace Price
Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune
Hugo is a ferryman to the newly dead. It’s not an easy job nor is it for everyone. Hugo is one of those special individuals who are just so…awe inspiring.
When a new case (Wallace) arrives at his unconventionally constructed tea shop, Hugo tries to help them to come to terms with being dead and eventually move on to whatever’s next. There are successes and failures, but Hugo’s methodology is one of patience, sympathetic understanding, wisdom, and one million percent heart.
Hugo’s approach is the kind of care and attention someone like Wallace Price – a cold, apathetic lawyer – is going to need while he reexamines how he’s lived his life, how he’s treated others, and what he thought he knew to be true.
Cartier Evariste/Aodhan Morgane to Brienna
The Queen’s Rising duology
Brienna is running out of time to find an area to passion in so she can be chosen by a patron like her House sisters until Cartier (a passion of knowledge) takes her under his wing.
Under Cartier’s easy demeanor and calm tutelage, Brienna begins to find something she really enjoys and excels in. From Cartier, Brienna draws strength and purpose, which will come in handy to face a future she could have never expected.
This post ended up way longer than I thought. I didn’t know I had that much to say about this. But if you’ve made it this far, thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I hope you enjoyed it.
Do you have a favorite book mentor?