Customer Reviews: Tuck Everlasting (A Sunburst book)
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on April 16, 2001
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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on November 2, 2002
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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on March 22, 2006
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.

The problem is that Winnie, who had previously desired to be on her own, now feels as if the Tucks have kidnapped her and yearns to go home. To complicate things Winnie's departure was witnessed by an odd older man in a yellow suit, who not only saw the Tucks take her off with them, but he also heard the amazing story of their immortality. At a point in his youth he had heard about the spring and had been searching for it all this time, and now he realizes his opportunity and heads off to the Fosters where he forces them to agree on a exchange for the title to Treegap Woods he will help them relocate Winnie.

This is a sweet and endearing story. It is beautifully written and something I wish I would have read as a child. The story still holds merit as an adult though, I see the morality tale behind the plot... just because one can have everything doesn't mean one should. The subtle romance between Winnie and Jesse is wonderful too, not in a creepy pedophiliac way, but in a hopeful, wistful want her to respond to his proposition in kind, but at the same time understand the conundrum if she does. I enjoyed this book immensely and will be recommending it to others.
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on March 29, 2005
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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on May 28, 2001
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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on July 10, 1999
This book was first read to me in fourth grade. Every day our class would urge our teacher to read just one more chapter to us. It was the first book that lifted itself off of its pages and into my childhood heart.
Last winter, over Christmas break, I was feeling a bit disconnected from myself and my child idealisms, so I decided to read Tuck Everlasting for a second time. Ten years after I read it for the first time, it was just as majestic and welcoming.
There is something about Babbitt's writing that invites you into a world unlike any I have ever known... a world of childlike fantasies, and characters that are more familiar than any reality I have or wish to experience.
I recomend this book to anyone who has lost themselves in a world of ostentatious values and fallacous relations... to anyone who, for 130 pages, would like to rediscover what it is to fantasize, discover, and dream. I welcome everyone into the world of Tuck Everlasting.
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on February 29, 2008
Tuck Everlasting is perhaps one of the most magical, enchanting books ever written, and is descriptive writing at its best. As a Language Arts/Reading teacher, I've used several passages from this book to model descriptive writing to my students..."endless tangled vines; and here and there a fallen log, half rotted but soft with patches of sweet-velvet moss" (p. 24). As with most chapter books, there are no illustrations, therefore, as a reader you must rely on the words themselves to hook you, to help you visualize, keeping you reading. I highly recommend this book not only for students, librarians, and teachers, but also for educators to use when preparing students for standardized tests.
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on July 18, 2006
The opening of TUCK EVERLASTING is one of the best beginnings of any book I've ever read, including many of the classics. Whatever this book my lack in character development, it makes up for ten-fold in theme. This book and its concepts are ageless and haunting. The best stories in life are often told as a parable, and TUCK EVERLASTING delivers. It is not a plot driven book or even a character driven book, it is question driven book...Do you choose life?
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on December 17, 2002
It would be great if we could live forever. No one could kill us, or even hurt us. That's not what the Tucks think from the book Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt. The Tucks drank from a magical spring, which gave them special powers to live forever. People thought of them as weird, as they ran away from them, accusing them of witchcraft. They try keeping living forever a secret, but when they meet Winnie Foster, something could go wrong. Do you still want to live forever? This fiction fantasy book keeps you on your toes, and ready to go.
Winnie Foster isd a ten-year-old girl. She gets to much attention from her family, so decides to run away. While running away, she meets the Tuck family, including Jesse Tuck, Mae Tuck, Miles Tuck, and Angus Tuck. Jesse, Mae, and Miles take her to Tuck when they find her, so he can explain the secret of the spring, but also to explain the importance of no one knowing about it.
Earlier in the book, Winnie met a stranger, wearing a yellow suit. He has been searching for the Tucks for a long time, and has finally found them, and wants to get the spring. He tells the Fosters that Winnie has been kidnapped, and he knows where she is. He makes a deal to get her, if they give him all of their woods, including the magical spring.
The stranger went to the Tucks, but instead of getting Winnie, Mae kills him, out of care for Winnie. She has to go to jail, soon to be put in the gallows.
The Tucks and Winnie have to get Mae out of jail, or the whole world will discover the secret the the Tucks and Mae hold. They come up with a plan, but will they get her out? Read this great book to find out what happens next.
I would recommend this book for ages eleven and older, because it is very hard to understand at times. I think this book is good because it is exciting and adventurous.
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on July 3, 2015
After seeing the movie, "Tuck Everlasting," I immediately wanted to read the book...a lifelong habit of mine. Natalie Babbitt does an excellent job of creating a marvelous story that draws the reader in on the first page and keeps providing simple yet beautifully descriptive paragraphs to pull the reader eagerly from page to page. The main character, a young lady of only eleven (a few years older in the movie) living a sheltered, privileged, and tightly controlled life behind an iron fence, yearns to experience the world outside her gate. The woods next door belong to her father, so what harm could come to her there? Winifred makes a marvelous discovery and encounters an unusual family that provides her more affection and freedom in a short time than she previously experienced in her entire life. Her family fears she has been kidnapped, and encouraged by a mystery man, who wants possession of the woods in exchange for leading them to their daughter, discover Winifred and the family sheltering her. The mystery of what is hidden in the woods, and the unusual family's predicament supply the tension and the crux of the story. The reader is forced to consider one of the biggest of life's questions. As the old saying goes: "Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.". What decision will Winnie make? What are the consequences of what seems a magical solution that many seek through the ages? Why is the mystery man so determined to gain possession of the woods and why does the Tuck family risk exposure to assure he does not? This is a charming, delightful story that provokes deep consideration. I recommend "Tuck Everlasting" to readers looking for beautiful writing and a story that transcends the page to probe deep into the reader's psyche. I look forward to reading more of Natalie Babbitt's work.
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