06/20/2015 04:54 pm ET Updated Jun 20, 2016

5 Fabulous Literary Fathers, in Their Own Words

You may think you have the best real dad in the world (I certainly do!), but I've pulled together some fictional contenders to rival anyone, along with the quotes that, to me, give an idea why we love them:

5. Hans Hubermann, in Markus Zusak's The Book Thief:

"You know, Liesel? I nearly wrote you a reply and signed your mother's name. ... But I couldn't. I couldn't bring myself."

4. Bob Cratchit, in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol:

"Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see."

3. Mr. Bennett, in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice:

"But, Lizzy ...You are not going to be missish, I hope, and pretend to be affronted at an idle report. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?"

2. Atticus Finch, in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird:

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."

And ...

1. Horton, from Dr. Seuss's Horton Hatches the Egg:

"I meant what I said / And I said what I meant... / An elephant's faithful / One hundred per cent! / No matter What happens, / This egg must be tended!"

We should all have such devoted fathers as Horton!