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Tuck Everlasting (A Sunburst book) Paperback – November 1, 1985

1,740 customer reviews

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Paperback, November 1, 1985
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Editorial Reviews Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"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

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Sunburst book
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (November 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374480095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374480097
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,740 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,039,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A gifted artist and writer, Natalie Babbitt's novels are inspired by a brilliance and imagination that is completely original. She began her career in 1966 with the publication of a picture book, The Forty-Ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with a more profound meaning embedded within them. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, but it is Tuck Everlasting which has insured Babbitt's place in the history of children's literature. This modern classic, which has also been made recently into a major motion picture starring Alexis Bledel, William Hurt, and Sissy Spacek, asks an enduring and powerful question: If we could live forever, would we want to? Babbitt has written six more novels including The Eyes of the Amaryllis and Goody Hall-each one presenting her unique vision of an enchanted world. Her latest novel, Jack Plank Tells Tales, was published in Spring 2007. Natalie Babbitt lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a grandmother of three. When asked what she wants readers to remember about her books, she replied, 'the questions without answers.'

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Erin VINE VOICE on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
My one word to describe this story: enchanting. It's the kind of story that a child would dream up laying on moon-drenched grass on a summer evening... you know, the kind that gives you shivers because it just might be real. I love this story for its simplicity--the author doesn't try to force it to be more than it is. She just lays it out in front of you and leaves you to ponder. And it's magical. You've just gotta love a book like that!
I recommend this book for older children who are ready to contemplate the issues of life and death, but who can still appreciate fantasy (It's not one of those depressing my-best-friend-died-and-it's-all-my-fault-Betsy-Byers-type books, thank goodness!). But I also highly recommend it to adults. It just might help you consider the magic of life that adults so often dismiss as childish impossibility.
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83 of 91 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
So far, in my life, I have read this book twice. The first time was when I was about 9 or 10 years old, and I don't remember liking it at all. Throughout the years, TUCK EVERLASTING has never been one of the books that I think of when someone asked me what they ought to read. In fact, when I heard that the movie was coming out, I could barely remember the story.
Now that I've read it a second time, at the age of 16, I can't for the life of me understand why. In TUCK EVERLASTING Natalie Babbitt has crafted a wonderfully thought-provoking story about human mortality and what it would mean to live forever. I was floored after I finished it, floored to the point that I had to stay in bed for a while and just think.
TUCK EVERLASTING is the story of 10-year-old Winnie Foster who, while literally on the run from her stifiling and lonely family life, stumbles upon a young man sipping water from a spring at the base of a giant oak tree. The young man is Jesse Tuck, the youngest memeber of a family blessed -- or doomed -- to live forever. While Winnie stays with the Tucks for just a few days, she learns more about their secret and what it really means. Unfortunately, a mysterious man also knows of the Tucks and of their secret, and is bent using it to make a fortune.
Though I am tempted to say that this book would be good for all ages, I don't think that this is necessarily true. My own experience proves otherwise. TUCK EVERLASTING is probably best for boys and girls ages 13 and up.
Oh, and remember: Don't see the movie without reading the book!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By T. Coulson on May 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a mother of a pre-teen I have been reading works of juvenile literature so I would be more aware of what my daughter was reading in school. Tuck Everlasting was a pleasant surprise since the talented author did more than create an interesting story. Every description, each sentence, paragraph and chapter is carefully crafted to make this book more than just another fun read. This book truly presents a thought provoking story wrapped in a breathtaking arrangement of words that makes you realize how beautiful the English language can really be. If you want your children to read something that is a true work of literary art - than have them read this book. In fact, take the time to read it yourself. You will be afraid to talk after each section you read for fear of polluting a language used so well in its literary context.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Karusichan on March 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ten year old Winnie Foster lives with her Family in the small town of Treegap, dead center in a massive wood that her family owns. Her Mother and Grandmother, being the overprotective folks that they are, will only allow her to play in the enclosed yard of their house. She becomes rebellious, debating whether she should run away; odds are at least then she would be able to experience some freedom instead of the same, repetitive boring days.

Not too far off from the Fosters home the Tuck family is gathering for the first time in ten years. Mae and Angus Tuck are preparing to meet their sons, 17 year old Jesse and 22 year old Miles, at a selected spot. Winnie decides at the same time that she will run away from home and slips off in the morning to do just that. She doesn't make it too far when she encounters a young man sitting against a tree next to a well, and she instantly feels a connection with him. He discovers her presence and introduces himself as Jesse Tuck, before his parents and brother show up. The Tucks are bothered by Winnie and decide, rather inelegantly, to take them home with them once they tell her their story.

See, the spring is a magical spring that grants the power of eternal life, and once in their youths the Tucks had all drank from it. Now, 87 years later, the Tucks are suspended in a permanent state of undying, and this affects every one of them in different ways. Angus is bothered by the unending sameness of life, Mae just takes it in stride. Miles, who was married and had children at one time, is sorrowful over the loss of his loved ones, and Jesse...well, Jesse is the only one who seems to be having some fun with his life, and likes to use his immortality as an excuse to live.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J. Meyers on March 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Geared toward the middle grades, Tuck Everlasting is a modern fantasy novel that has characters that can easily be identified with, even if they can never die. The book is an easy read with a plot that keeps readers in suspense and wanting to know more. The overall theme that life is a wheel and should move on, teaches us that death is part of the journey and to not take living for granted.
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