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Tuck Everlasting

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Overview

Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.

But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret–and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey

...
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Tuck Everlasting

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Overview

Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.

But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret–and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
. . . It is rich in imagery and punctuated with light fillips of humor. The author manipulates her plot deftly . . .
From the Publisher
"A fearsome and beautifully written book that can’t be put down or forgotten." —The New York Times

"Exciting and excellently written." —The New York Times Book Review

"With its serious intentions and light touch the story is, like the Tucks, timeless." —Chicago Sun-Times

"Rarely does one find a book with such prose. Flawless in both style and structure, it is rich in imagery and punctuated with light fillips of humor. The author manipulates her plot deftly, dealing with six main characters brought together because of a spring whose waters can bestow everlasting life. . . . Underlying the drama is the dilemma of the age-old desire for perpetual youth." —The Horn Book Magazine

"Probably the best work of our best children’s novelist." —Harper’s

"Natalie Babbitt’s great skill is spinning fantasy with the lilt and sense of timeless wisdom of the old fairy tales. . . . It lingers on, haunting your waking hours, making you ponder." —The Boston Globe

"This book is as shapely, crisp, sweet, and tangy as a summer-ripe pear." —Entertainment Weekly

"Beautiful and descriptive language is the strength of Babbitt’s fantasy about Winnie and her encounter with the Tuck family, who cause her—and readers—to ponder an important question: What would it be like to live forever?" —Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400099108
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/12/2005
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 3CDs, 3hrs., 32 min.
  • Pages: 3
  • Sales rank: 278,046
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 5.87 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Natalie Babbitt, who is also an illustrator, has won numerous prestigious awards for the children’s books she has created, which include The Search for the Delicious, available on audio from Listening Library, and Bob: Or the Very Best Thing.

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Read an Excerpt

Tuck Everlasting


By Natalie Babbitt

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Copyright © 2015 Natalie Babbitt
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-374-30167-5


Tuck Everlasting Chapter 1

The road that led to Treegap had been trod out long before by a herd of cows who were, to say the least, relaxed. It wandered along in curves and easy angles, swayed off and up in a pleasant tangent to the top of a small hill, ambled down again between fringes of bee-hung clover, and then cut sidewise across a meadow. Here its edges blurred. It widened and seemed to pause, suggesting tranquil bovine picnics: slow chewing and thoughtful contemplation of the infinite. And then it went on again and came at last to the wood. But on reaching the shadows of the first trees, it veered sharply, swung out in a wide arc as if, for the first time, it had reason to think where it was going, and passed around.

On the other side of the wood, the sense of easiness dissolved. The road no longer belonged to the cows. It became, instead, and rather abruptly, the property of people. And all at once the sun was uncomfortably hot, the dust oppressive, and the meager grass along its edges somewhat ragged and forlorn. On the left stood the first house, a square and solid cottage with a touch-me-not appearance, surrounded by grass cut painfully to the quick and enclosed by a capable iron fence some four feet high which clearly said, “Move on—we don’t want you here.” So the road went humbly by and made its way, past cottages more and more frequent but less and less forbidding, into the village. But the village doesn’t matter, except for the jailhouse and the gallows. The first house only is important; the first house, the road, and the wood.

There was something strange about the wood. If the look of the first house suggested that you’d better pass it by, so did the look of the wood, but for quite a different reason. The house was so proud of itself that you wanted to make a lot of noise as you passed, and maybe even throw a rock or two. But the wood had a sleeping, otherworld appearance that made you want to speak in whispers. This, at least, is what the cows must have thought: “Let it keep its peace; we won’t disturb it.”

Whether the people felt that way about the wood or not is difficult to say. There were some, perhaps, who did. But for the most part the people followed the road around the wood because that was the way it led. There was no road through the wood. And anyway, for the people, there was another reason to leave the wood to itself: it belonged to the Fosters, the owners of the touch-me-not cottage, and was therefore private property in spite of the fact that it lay outside the fence and was perfectly accessible.

The ownership of land is an odd thing when you come to think of it. How deep, after all, can it go? If a person owns a piece of land, does he own it all the way down, in ever narrowing dimensions, till it meets all other pieces at the center of the earth? Or does ownership consist only of a thin crust under which the friendly worms have never heard of trespassing?

In any case, the wood, being on top—except, of course, for its roots—was owned bud and bough by the Fosters in the touch-me-not cottage, and if they never went there, if they never wandered in among the trees, well, that was their affair. Winnie, the only child of the house, never went there, though she sometimes stood inside the fence, carelessly banging a stick against the iron bars, and looked at it. But she had never been curious about it. Nothing ever seems interesting when it belongs to you—only when it doesn’t.

And what is interesting, anyway, about a slim few acres of trees? There will be a dimness shot through with bars of sunlight, a great many squirrels and birds, a deep, damp mattress of leaves on the ground, and all the other things just as familiar if not so pleasant—things like spiders, thorns, and grubs.

In the end, however, it was the cows who were responsible for the wood’s isolation, and the cows, through some wisdom they were not wise enough to know that they possessed, were very wise indeed. If they had made their road through the wood instead of around it, then the people would have followed the road. The people would have noticed the giant ash tree at the center of the wood, and then, in time, they’d have noticed the little spring bubbling up among its roots in spite of the pebbles piled there to conceal it. And that would have been a disaster so immense that this weary old earth, owned or not to its fiery core, would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin.

  TUCK EVERLASTING. Copyright © 1975 by Natalie Babbitt. All rights reserved. For information, address Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 18 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.
(Continues...)

Excerpted from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. Copyright © 2015 Natalie Babbitt. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR).
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions:

Note: Page numbers listed below refer to the trade paperback edition.

1. On page 39, Miles describes losing his family as they aged and he didn’t. Think about spending
the rest of eternity at your current age. Who would you lose? What would you gain? Would it be
worth it?
2. On page 64, Tuck tells Winnie, “You can’t have living without dying. So you can’t call it living,
what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road.” What do you think he means by
this?
3. On pages 99–100, the man in the yellow suit tells the Tucks, “Did you really believe you could
keep that water for yourselves? Your selfishness is really quite extraordinary, and worse than
that, you’re stupid.” Who is really selfish and unintelligent here, and why?
4. On page 119, Winnie thinks of the Tucks, “They were helpless. Or too trusting. Well, something
like that.” What do you think they are? If you knew you were going to live forever, how would
that change what you worried about and how you interacted with other people?
5. On page 126, a huge thunderstorm hits Treegap. Why do you think the author chose to have the
storm here? How is the weather related to the plot of the story?
6. Jesse and Miles feel quite differently about their immortality. How does each feel about it? Who
do you identify with more?
7. People sometimes think immortality is desirable. What are some reasons the Tucks would give to
argue against that?
8. It’s wrong to commit murder, but was Mae Tuck wrong to kill the man in the yellow suit? Why
or why not?
9. Winnie broke the law when she hid in in Mae’s cell to let her escape. Imagine you are Winnie’s
lawyer. What would you say to the court in her defense?
10. Compare the beginning and end of Tuck Everlasting, and discuss how Winnie’s character
changed.
11. Sometimes, people can be afraid of dying. After reading Tuck Everlasting, how have your
thoughts on death changed (if at all)?
12. Think about the title of this book. What does Tuck Everlasting mean to you? What might it mean
to Winnie?
13. Does this novel have a happy or sad ending? Why? If you could rewrite the final chapter, how
would the ending change?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 845 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(561)

4 Star

(151)

3 Star

(56)

2 Star

(21)

1 Star

(56)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 848 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2008

    a must read for all

    This book is for all ages and it makes one stop and think....how should I live my life before I get to my final destination. I read the book a few years ago and still think about the bottom line of the book on a regular basis. Think of how much the Tuck family could have done while living forever - how much good they could have done for others. We're all in our 'rented' space for a brief period on earth - make the best of our time and don't be idle with the gifts you have to share with others. A great book for middle schoolers through adults - I highly recommend the book.

    58 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    I enjoyed every minute reading this. Can only recommend

    48 out of 59 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2008

    Tuck Everlasting is Amazing

    This book review is about a book titled Tuck Everlasting. It is by an author by the name of Natalie Babbitt. The story is about a family ¿the Tucks¿ who drink from a magic spring, and become immortal. The Tuck family meets a little girl named Winnie Foster who comes upon their secret. So they take Winnie, and told her what happens when you drink from the magic spring. During all of this, a mysterious man tries to steal the magic spring water, and sell it for a profit. If you want to find out any more, I guess you¿ll have to read the book for yourself.<BR/> I thought this book was very unique. Natalie Babbitt uses very descriptive words. When you read this book you will feel like you are right there with the Tucks. When the book describes Winnie Foster it will remind you of when you were a child, always running around and exploring. I believe the message to this story is ¿Be careful what you wish for¿. That is the theme of the story because some people in the real world ask for things they wish they had, but they never know how bad it could be if they did get what they want. This is a good but unique book.<BR/> If you like books really unique story lines, and good endings this is a book for you. Tuck Everlasting makes you think about life. What would you do if you could live forever? Would you think it is a good thing, or would you think that it is horrible that you could never die? What do you live for if you can live forever? This book is one of the best books you will read in your life time. Tuck Everlasting is a book for you!

    31 out of 38 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    Excellent book

    My 10 yr old daughter loved it.

    27 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An everlasting story

    I read the book Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. It is fun, magic and fantasy all in one book. The book is about a ten year old girl named Winnie Foster. She has a really boring life living behind a fence in the woods. So Winnie decides to run away. She meets a boy named Jesse Tuck and discovers that his family has a secret: they have eternal life after drinking from a magic spring. The Tucks then have to kidnap Winnie until she promises not to give away their secret and explain themselves. Winnie grows close to Mae (the mother), Tuck (the father), and Miles and Jesse (brothers). But trouble arises when an evil man tries to take Winnie away and give away the Tuck's secret. I loved this magical adventure. The positives were the characters. They are funny, nice, and add love to the book. Also, there were many cliffhangers that encouraged the reader to keep reading. And finally, the magic and fantasy made the book really enjoyable. But there were some negatives, too. Parts of the story were rushed, so not enough details were given, making some things confusing. And the beginning was a bit dragging, so it may not pull readers right away. But other than that, the book is very well done. The writing style is a bit old-fashioned. The author uses terms that aren't used as often anymore. Also, she has a very formal way of writing. I recommend this book for any age because it is a fun fantasy, and the characters are likeable. It is appropriate for young kids, and not too "little" for older kids. It can be read for pleasure, or anything else, like reports. Fans of Harry Potter and Twilight might like this story, because it has a familiar theme: a lonely kid falls upon a secret and bonds with the people that share it. It's more similar to Twilight because as in that book, the people will always be alive. Also, the book Ingo, by Helen Dunsmore, has a similar theme of discovery. Finally, Tuck Everlasting was a great book and can be enjoyed by everyone.

    24 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    wow

    i find that stories like this can carry you away for days on end wheather you are visiting neverland or spending a day with lassie you will always find comfort and care in the hands of these unforgettble charecters

    20 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    Real Interesting but GREAT!!!

    this book gets really boring in the beginning but then it gets really into to the story that make you never stop reading the book and i didn't even want to read it in the first place but i had to for a grade.i loved the book and i'm so glad i read this book

    16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2009

    Great story!

    this was required reading for my sons' fifth grade class but I enjoyed reading it as well. It is beautifully written.

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    OMG! This book must be the best of the year!

    OMG! This book is amazing. I also reccomend the movie, too. It has alot of great actors. It is about girl who learns a seceret, one which she can never tell. Along th way she makes four fabulous friends, which she wil keep forever.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    Tuck Everlasting

    I unfortunately was required to read this story for school. For people who're really into reading, maybe you'd enjoy it, but I hated it.
    It does have an interesting main plot, but it is put together so badly it was horrid to read. There is a magical spring where uf you drink it you can liver forever, hence Tuck Everlasting. That could go places, but the main character falls in love with a huge age difference between them. I just really disliked this. I apologize for lack of detail, I read this a while ago. Bad memories...

    10 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Sweet!!!

    This is a must read. Do it. If you dare!

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    LOVE IT!!!!!

    Amazzzing

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    Awesome

    I love this book. I am only 10 and cried at the end. I reccomend it to evryone of all ages.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Hey!!!

    I love this book you should read it! Im Jadelyn (Jade-lin) Kiryun (Kur-in) Gilluion (Gill-ie-on) and im tweleve (12) and i post of reviews and im in 5th grade! So if you see my name somewhere or see the name Jadelyn KG, tht would be ME!!! Oh an by the way, im a girl :-)

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    Tuck Everlasting

    Books that I commonly read convey chatoyant covers, which urge me to read them. Tuck Everlasting is a non fiction novel. It's about a family, the Tuck Family, who once drank water from a spring that prevents anyone who drinks it to age. Soon a young girl and a bitter stranger find out about the Tuck's secret, and an adventure begins when the Tuck's and the young girl struggle to protect the spring from being found. Blithely, I can state that Natalie Babbitt is a divine author who puts a great deal of thinking into her work. This book is an all time favorite for most of its readers, and if you haven't read Tuck Everlasting, I potently recommend you to read the synopsis and become as thrilled as I was the first time I read it.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2008

    6th grade student in Glendale, AZ TUCK EVERLASTING

    This book is one of the best books that I have ever read. The magical story of the Tuck family is both exiting and so good you can't put it down. Many years ago, the Tuck family found a spring and drank from it. Turnes out, the spring was magical. When a young girl named Winnie came along, they were forced to tell her their secret. When she wants in on the spring, one of the children her age gives her a bottle of the water and tells her she can drink it. That water was magical because if you drink it, you can stay the same forever and never grow older. I loved reading this book, and I gave this book a rating of five stars. Also I think that girls would find this book more interesting than the boys would find it.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    OMG

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!
    ITS WORTH THE $$

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Better Than It Looks

    Tuck Everlasting is an AMAZING book. If you don't think it will be great, just read it. I read it in class and was hooked from the beginning.
    Not only is it an amazing story, it really makes you think about life.
    I recomend it for all ages!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    TAP ME!

    Hi im a girl. My name is Nayelli S. I am 11 years old and last year in 5th grade i read it and i totally loved this book i toatally recommend it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Awsome

    At first its confusing but after u start reading a cople chapters u just want to read on and on

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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