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Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting (1975)

by Natalie Babbitt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (378)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (380)
Showing 1-5 of 378 (next | show all)
I can't tell you for sure the first time I read Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting. It couldn't have been when it first came out since I was just 4 years old but I know I found it at some point in my childhood. In fact, the copy on my shelves is from 1985 so that's probably when I read it. It left a profound impression on me. I have held onto my copy of it for so many years thinking one day my children would read it too. But no matter how much tried to convince my own children to read it, there have been no takers so far. But I will keep trying even as they grow past the intended age of the audience because this is a beautiful and worthwhile book.

Ten, almost eleven, year old Winnie Foster lives in the first house on the road into town; the house is set apart and fenced off from the rest of the village and Winnie seems to echo this lonely difference. She is in the woods behind her house one day when she comes across seventeen year old Jesse Tuck and a bubbling spring that he won't allow her to drink from. In fact, her discovery of the spring is a terrible thing and when his mother Mae and older brother Miles appear, they feel they have no recourse but to take Winnie with them to their home a ways away, promising to return her the following day. Once they take her, they tell her the fantastical story of the spring. It has granted them eternal life, freezing them at the ages they were when they first drank from it eighty-seven years prior. At first Winnie thinks this is a wonderful and magical thing but as she gradually hears the stories of each of the kindly Tucks, she learns the sorrows and burdens that they live under as a result of that one thirsty day and she discovers that she herself, knowing the story of the spring, has a choice of whether to live a regular life, keeping the secret forever, or to do as Jesse asks her, to wait until she is old enough for him and then to drink of the spring herself.

There were some disturbing bits that I don't remember well from my first reading. Why the Tucks felt compelled to essentially kidnap Winnie and her moments of homesickness, fear, and despair either didn't register, were lost in the larger meaning of the book, or were just casually accepted as what needed to happen to move the plot along when I read it so long ago. Now as an adult, they were definitely more horrifying to me, snagging my attention in ways that they certainly didn't back then. The stranger who follows the Tucks is eminently more ominous than he was on my first reading. But the gorgeous writing and the beautiful thoughts behind the story also sharpened in this most recent reading. And Babbitt is a gorgeous writer. She manages to fully develop all of her characters in this not very long, mostly quiet, and introspective novel. There are just enough moments of action in the plot to balance out the gently imparted moral of the tale and the pervading sadness of the Tuck family's lives. The novel predates much of today's technology, and even the technology of the 70s when it was published, but there's a timeless, elegant feel to the story. I remember crying over the perfect ending so many years ago and, recognizing even more nuances now, I cried over it again at this reading. Poignant, richly imagined, and beautiful, this is one children's novel I will never give up. ( )
  whitreidtan | Nov 9, 2015 |
I've seen the movie that came out a few years ago, and I thought I'd read the book as a child, but I was imagining a totally different ending. Regardless, I absolutely loved this book. The writing was so beautiful - I re-read the first page several times over because the sentences were perfection. The idea is also really unique - a family drinks from an innocent-looking spring only to find the water basically froze them in time. They never age, and nothing can kill them - which is both a blessing and a curse. When Winnie stumbles across the family, she's swept in by them and their magical lives. Really makes you ponder if you'd drink from that spring or not. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
I had mixed feelings about this book. I liked the book because of it's writing, it's plot, and it's characters. The story was very well-written and very descriptive; I almost could see the settings that were described. For example, when describing the road to the town the author wrote "It wandered along in curves and easy angles, swayed off and up in a pleasant tangent to the top of the small hill, ambled down again between fringes of bee-hung clover..." This description along with many others made me love the story and the author's writing. The plot was fascinating; it was about eternal life and the consequences it involves. The story was a modern fantasy book, however it seemed realistic enough that I found myself almost believing it.The characters were another great part of the story; the author really developed the characters and made the reader love them in such a short time. One character, Winnie, was a young girl and the author did a phenomenal job of making you love her because of her actions; at one point Winnie sacrificed a lot in order to help somebody else succeed. These reasons and others made me really enjoy the story. However, I did not like that it was targeted at 4th-5th graders because the books theme and parts of the plot seemed too intense for these younger ages. There was a character who got murdered in the book and I'm not sure if I agree with this being in a book aimed at children. Also, while I enjoyed the plot of this book, it may be a little bit complicated for 4th-5th graders. If this book was aimed more towards a middle-school age group, it would be more appropriate. Altogether, my feelings are mixed on this book but I definitely enjoyed reading the book. ( )
  CasieProdoehl | Aug 31, 2015 |
Interesting setup, but a bit moralistic in its message. ( )
  Audacity88 | Aug 28, 2015 |
FAN, immortal
  prichter | Aug 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 378 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Natalie Babbittprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fradera, NarcisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, MelissaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.
Winnie woke early the next morning. The sun was only just opening its own eye on the eastern horizon and the cottage was full of silence. But she realized that sometime during the night her had made up her mind: she would not runaway today. 'Where would I go anyway?'....But in another part of her head...she knew there was another sort of reason for staying at home: she was afraid of going away alone.
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This work is the original book. It should not be combined with any film adaptation or other adaptation.
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AR 5.0, 4 Pts
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312369816, Paperback)

Imagine coming upon a fountain of youth in a forest. To live forever--isn't that everyone's ideal? For the Tuck family, eternal life is a reality, but their reaction to their fate is surprising. Award winner Natalie Babbitt (Knee-Knock Rise, The Search for Delicious) outdoes herself in this sensitive, moving adventure in which 10-year-old Winnie Foster is kidnapped, finds herself helping a murderer out of jail, and is eventually offered the ultimate gift--but doesn't know whether to accept it. Babbitt asks profound questions about the meaning of life and death, and leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the perfect cycle of nature. Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant, Tuck Everlasting will last forever--in the reader's imagination. An ALA Notable Book. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:36 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

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 any older.

» see all 13 descriptions

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