Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

Doomed to—or blessed with—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing older.

My thoughts:
This is a book I loved as a child, so I decided to share it with my own children as an audio book from the library that we listened to in the car.  I have not read it in years, so I had forgotten that Winnie is only ten in the book.  After seeing the movie I thought she was older as the actress who played her role was older than that in the film.

It can seem so wonderful to have the chance to live forever, to have all the time in the world to do whatever it is you might want.  To never run out of the precious commodity that money cannot buy, but there is the flip side.  The Tuck family drink from the spring by accident and don't find out until years later what the water has done to them.  They have to watch their friends and neighbors and loved ones start to grow old and start to grow suspicious about why they are not aging.  They can never stay in one place too long.  I wonder what will become of them as cities grow larger, people carry identification with them and they have more chances of finding themselves in pictures or video images.  But the setting for this novel is back when most people traveled by horse and wagon, so that was just me wondering.

Winnie's accidental encounter with the Tuck family has far reaching consequences fro them.  She doesn't do any of it in any sense of malice towards them, just curiosity of a sheltered ten-year-old girl who has never been given much in the way of freedom.  When we were listening to this i thought it was funny that the two brothers were Miles and Jesse as I had both a Miles and a Jesse in my preschool class this year.  As my two students both had blond hair I had a hard time seeing the brothers with dark hair as they are described int eh book.

Is the chance to live forever a blessing or a curse, would you choose to do so if you could?  What are the good things about it and what are the bad?  These questions sparked some fun conversations in our car at the conclusion of the story.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312369811
  • Publisher: CENGAGE Learning
  • Publication date: 8/21/2007
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,441
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

A gifted artist and writer, Natalie Babbitt is the award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Kneeknock Rise and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a grandmother of three.


  1. I loved this story, but since I read it when I was in high school I hadn't even considered reading it to my boys (10 &7). I will definitely consider it for our bedtime reading, since we are almost done with the Percy Jackson series. It would be nice to slip something different in before we start a new Rick Riordan series.

  2. I loved that book! I will have to add it to my list of books I want to share with my son. Thanks for the reminder!