As we know, fathers can be very powerful people in our lives. Although their styles may be different, many of us are who we are today because of how our fathers taught, loved, and cared for us throughout our lives. This Father’s Day, we look back at the great fathers we’ve come to know and love in literature and which qualities make them top notch role models.

1. Atticus Finch — The Leader

A leader, in any setting, sets the tone for how we interact with one another. They shape and construct the morals and values in each of their followers.  As a leader in the family, no father in literature accepts this role than Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. In the face of conflict, Atticus took  a path that was filled with challenges and obstacles. He chose to show his children that every man is created equal no matter who they are are where they come from. This is no easy job, and our fathers face these types challenges everyday in their lives. Through their actions they plant the seeds in us that help us grow over time into the roots of our values.

2. Bob Cratchit — The Solace

Life is not always easy. We may find ourselves in a hard place, but our fathers help us to see the joy of being together as a family. In Charles Dickens’s magical story, The Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit is the shining example of how to see the light in a world brimming in darkness. No matter how hard life may seem, Bob Cratchit, like many of our fathers, finds a way to bring out the joy in our lives and celebrate the true gift we receive everyday; our family.

3. Hans Hubermann — The Teacher

Our parents are our greatest teachers. They are constantly pushing us to become better and picking us up when fall down. No literary father loves teaching his child more than Hans Hubermann from the renowned novel The Book Thief. As the parent of an adopted child in a world surrounded by fear and violence, Hubermann devotes his life to educating his daughter the beauty of reading and imagination. In a community blinded by prejudice, Hubermann teaches his daughter to create a vision of the world through her own eyes, and not let others dictate how she thinks. Similar to our fathers, their love can be seen through their countless lessons and lectures with hope that we use this knowledge to create a life better than they have ever experienced.

4. Mrs. Doubtfire — The Comedian

On this day, we appreciate the countless times our dads made us smile when no one else could. Made famous by the motion picture, Mrs. Doubtfire is the father that will go the extra mile just to squeak a grin out of us. When a divorce causes him to be separated from his kids, this father dresses up as old nanny just to spend a few more hours each day laughing with his kids. While our fathers can seem so serious at times, they’re always the first to recognize whenever we need a bit of laughter in our lives.

5. The Giving Tree — The Giver

Finally, the last characteristic we admire in our fathers is their constant generosity in our lives. Whether it’s toys when we are young, countless nights of helping with math homework, or even walking you down the aisle on on your wedding day, our fathers are always willing to give whatever they have, just to make us happy. While not necessarily a human father, the tree in Shel Silverstein’s children’s book The Giving Tree is a perfect resemblance of a father figure who continues to give until he has nothing left. Our fathers serve us in any way they can, and as we grow older, our fathers sacrifice more and more just to sustain our happiness. It is not until we reach a certain age of maturity, that we are fully able to comprehend the the countless hours and energy our fathers have devoted towards providing us with a better life.

We hope that on this day of celebration, you are able to be thankful of all your father’s admirable qualities that have helped shape you into the person you are today.

It’s never too late to tell your father how thankful you are to have him in your life.