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Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
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Tuck Everlasting (1975)

by Natalie Babbitt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,051351511 (3.96)105
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Showing 1-5 of 349 (next | show all)
Tuck Everlasting is the fifth book that my daughter and I have read this summer. It is a winning and thoroughly engaging story that has left both of us talking and thinking.
The main thought of the book is, "would you want to live forever?" Good question! We follow the main character, Winnie, as she tackles this complicated decision.
At the beginning of the story Winnie is a very sheltered and safe little girl (10 years old). She plays in her carefully groomed front yard, watching things around her (including a thirsty toad). Her world is safe, slow, and somnolent - seemingly napping in the hot, dry sun.
The catalyst for change occurs when a man in a yellow suit (no, not hat, you Curious George fans). He is asking questions and seems unduly curious when they (the man and Winnie) hear a strange, almost elfin tune. The man is excited. The girl (Winnie)is motivated to make a surge forward. She runs into the forest where she discovers a young man (Jesse Tuck) drinking from a fountain hidden under stones at the base of a tree. I know, it sounds like a fairy tale. The story does come across as magical. The question is do you believe? Does Winnie believe?
Winnie is taken (kidnapped) back to the Tuck home. The house is hidden deep in the country, secluded and existing in a time of its own. The Tucks move Winnie from her safe life to a different world. Their home is messy and disorganized in contrast to her own neat home. The Tucks are delighted to meet her and treat her like a treasured family member. This also is in contrast to her own more reserved family.
Throughout her time at the Tucks they tell Winnie their story. Does she believe they will live forever? Will she keep their secret? Does Winnie want eternal life?
Different family members present different perspectives to Winnie. Jesse (stuck at about 17) is full of life and is excited by all the world has to offer. The patriarch of the family (simply called Tuck) takes her out to the lake to explain his viewpoint. He points out to Winnie the way the tides of the pond move, all the bugs, and birds, and etc. He explains how everything is born, grows, is in a constant state of flux, and then dies. His family has stopped changing, maturing, growing.
The man in the yellow suit eventually finds Winnie and the Tucks. His plan is to sell the water to "worthy" customers who can afford his hefty price. The matriarch of the family (Mae) kills the man She cannot allow the secret (to her the disaster, the epidemic) to spread to an unsuspecting public. My daughter reminds me too of what a burden this would be to the earth if no one ever died.
Mae is faced with hanging - something which would surely lead to the exposure of her secret. Winnie helps Mae escape. This is a huge departure for her. It is definitely not something she would have done before the Tucks. She is part of their world,their family now. They love each other. The act is not a legal thing to do but is it a moral thing to do? The Tucks have changed her and Winnie is willing, indeed eager, to help. The consequences are grave. Her family is shamed in front of the whole town. When questioned Winnie can only answer that she did it for love. This her mom understands. Her family forms a fortress around her then, protecting her. Winnie comes to recognize their love for her as well.
Before Jesse leaves Winnie for the last time, he gives her a vial of the Spring water. He asks her to think about drinking it when she turns 17 so they can explore all of eternity together. Will she or won't she?
The final scene is of Tuck and Mae arriving back in the main town many years later. Everything has changed. The reader has the sense that the Tucks are getting more and more stretched - like Bilbo in LOTR. Their anchor to life is back 100 years. The longer their bodies live, the less they themselves seem to be part of the living world. The reader eventually finds out if Winnie drank the water or not. The answer makes the Tucks both sad and happy. The answer also leaves the reader questioning her decision and pondering their own reactions. Overall, a very satisfying book.
  pammycats | Jul 16, 2014 |
my synopsis

Winnie Foster leads a sheltered life, and longs to runaway from the disapproving eyes of her family. One day, after wondering into the woods her family owns, Winnie stumbles into an adventure that turns out to be nothing like she ever imagined. She meets a family claiming to have obtained eternal life from drinking from a spring in the woods. But living forever isn't all it's cracked up to be...



Review

I have to admit that I watched the film first, and didn't even know this book existed until I came upon it. So, that being said, I was expecting a bit more romance, but there was some. I really enjoyed this bite-size novel about friendship. It's whimsical with just the right amount of darkness and force to make it enjoyable for children and adults alike. ( )
  LauraT81 | Jun 5, 2014 |
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt Publisher: Square Fish Publication date: 8/21/2007 Pages: 144 Tuck Everlasting is a tall tale of the fountain of youth. A family stumbles aross a small pool of water, and after drinking it, they realize they cannot die. As time goes on a girl is introduced to the boy, Tuck. They fall in love, but when their secret is found out it become a life decision on whether to live life to the fullest the way it was supposed to be lived, or live forever. This is a great story and easy read.
  joey_spencer | May 13, 2014 |
I very much enjoyed this book. Although it was a chapter book the plot of the book was fast paced and well put together. I liked this about the book because it constantly kept the reader interested. The length of the book was short but a lot happened throughout the book. I felt myself always wondering what was going to happen. The scenes of the book changed as well, from the house to the woods, the Tucks house, then to the jail. I liked this about the book too and found that this may have been a technique the author used to keep the reader interested because the characters were always in different situations in the different scenes. The overall message of the book was another reason I enjoyed the book so much. Although Winnie was so young and she may have been put in a potentially dangerous situation she found the positives in the Tuck family and stood by them throughout the whole book. ( )
  mooste2 | May 10, 2014 |
“Tuck Everlasting” is the story of a young girl who finds herself witnessing a young man drinking from a spring of water that makes you live forever. The young man kidnaps the girl and takes her to meet his family in hopes that after hearing the story of their everlasting life, she will keep their secret. The message of this book is to enjoy every moment of your life and realize that it is a cycle that is not meant to go on forever. One way the author gets this message across is in the beginning of the story by comparing life to a ferris wheel. She states that everything is a cycle that is constantly turning and changing but eventually it needs to come to an end. This foreshadows what the rest of the book will be about and starts getting the reader thinking about events to come in the book. It also even almost gives away the ending in a sense. Another way the author gets this message across is by using the girls, Winnie, personal thoughts about everlasting life and her chance at it. At first she is very young and wants to drink the water and live forever. But in the end she chooses not to drink it because she has realized that life is not meant to go on forever. This was a dramatic ending that wasn't the fairy tale ending most books have. However, it greatly added to the story and gave the book its meaning. This book is a great read that constantly had me thinking about what I would do if I were in Winnie's situation. It constantly keeps the reader thinking and wondering even long after they've put the book down. ( )
  CarolinePfrang | May 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 349 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Natalie Babbittprimary authorall 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.
Quotations
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:35 -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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