Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Review: Tuck Everlasting

Title: Tuck Everlasting
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: August 21, 2007 (Originally published in 1975)
Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Doomed to—or blessed with—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

My Review

Do you think immortality is a curse or a blessing? What if you were given the choice to age normally or halt your life at this moment and stay that way forever just by drinking a bit of water? That's what young Winnie Foster has to decide in this beloved novel by Natalie Babbitt.

Even though I'm pretty sure that I've read this book before (don't think less of me for not remembering; it was over twelve years ago), I had a very pleasant time reading this classic children's novel. I love the story that Babbitt creates and the questions that she gives her young readers. It's cute, happy, and sad all at the same time, so it makes for an interesting and emotionally pulling read.

I loved Winnie's story, and seeing how just stepping outside of her fence made her world seem so much bigger until finally it's gigantic when she reaches the Tuck's cabin. Even when I was ten years old, my boundaries made the world seem so small until they were expanded, so I thought that was very representative of a young child's life. Coming across Jesse Tuck in the woods and subsequently meeting the rest of the Tuck family showed Winnie a lot about life and really living, and it made me wish that I could really have the chance to choose to age gracefully or be immortal.

The characters in this charming book do not disappoint. Obviously I liked Winnie because she knows that she's not extraordinarily special.  She's just Winnie Foster - the girl with an overprotective family, the girl who's not allowed to leave her yard and the girl who talks to toads. Jesse and his brother, Miles, are fun characters, but quite honestly I feel like I didn't really get to know them very well in the book, especially Miles. I wouldn't have minded a few more pages for Babbitt to explore them a little more. The man in the yellow suit is a mysterious, yet intriguing character. I liked how Babbitt characterizes him, and I'm sure many kids will be able to figure him out before the conclusion of the novel. My favorite characters in the book were Tuck and Mae. They seemed like they genuinely cared about Winnie and her decision, although at one point I was concerned that they wanted to keep her as a pet.

Tuck Everlasting is a book that I think all children should read in the later years of elementary school (or earlier if they are on the advanced track). It's short enough for kids to read in a few days, maybe even one day, but it contains some important life questions that might make children rethink their opinions about immortality.


  1. Awesome review Erin!

    I haven't read this book, but I have watched the movie, which was kind of different due to the differences in ages. But I would still love to read the book :)

    1. The whole Jesse being seventeen to Winnie being ten? It really didn't bother me because there really isn't a lot of romance going on between the two of them, just Jesse saying that he'd wait until Winnie turned seventeen. It was cute, but not in a creepy way.

      I've seen the movie, and I wanted to watch it the other day, but the only way to get it through NetFlix is the DVDs, and I use my uncle's login information. I think my sister has the DVD somewhere, so I'll have to borrow it.


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