Tuck Everlasting

 
A timeless and thought-provoking novel.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

An eloquent lesson on mortality wrapped tightly in lyrical prose.

Positive role models

Winnie disobeys her parents when she sneaks out of the house on two occasions, but she is still a good character.

Violence

One character threatens the Tucks and is killed by a blow to the head with a rifle butt. The Tucks kidnap Winifred. Mae Tuck is threatened with hanging.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the sparkling nature descriptions in Tuck Everlasting are great introductions to lyrical prose. The main character uses her ingenuity to rescue a friend from a risky situation. Kids who stick with the novel through the (intentionally) sleepy opening are rewarded with a humorous and moving story, as well as unforgettable descriptions of the natural world.

What's the story?

The Tucks have discovered the Fountain of Youth -- but is it a blessing or a curse? Ten-year-old Winnie must consider this question even as she is kidnapped, witnesses a murder, and assists in a jailbreak. Along the way, the reader is treated to a richly imagined setting that's every bit as memorable as the story.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This is such a timeless story that kids who miss the context clues might be surprised to discover at the end of the book that it's set in the 1880s. In many ways, the story is a fairy tale, with a magical spring, a kidnapped heroine, an enchanted handsome prince, and even a bittersweet ending. Natalie Babbitt's eloquent descriptions of woods, ponds, and animals elevate the novel from mere story to a lyrical meditation on the natural order. The dog days of summer, when the earth cracks and lighting flashes without thunder, are described with exquisite clarity; cows, fish, and even one of the most memorable toads in children's literature are given personality and respect.

This is a wonderful book to read with children who have experienced the death of an older relative. Children will be eager to discuss Winnie's life-or-death decision.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about life, death, and the circle of life. Why are stories about the possibility of immortality so popular?

  • If you could, would you want to live forever?

  • If you were in Winnie's position, what decision would you make?

Book details

Author:Natalie Babbitt
Genre:Coming of Age
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Friendship, History, Misfits and underdogs
Book type:Fiction
Publication date:January 1, 1975
Number of pages:139

This review of Tuck Everlasting was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous December 21, 2010
age 7+
 
I loved this book I read it with my daughter and i loved it. it was amazing and romantic but still appropriate i loved it so much
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byVelvet_Leggings_XD May 7, 2010
age 10+
 

Wasn't the best.

I didn't like it nor hate it. I just think that it was too short. You don't really get to know the characters, you don't spend enough time with them. She's only there for what, one night, and then the story pretty much ends? The plot just never went anywhere.
Kid, 11 years old March 7, 2010
age 8+
 

Great Message

It's amazing!! I really like the message, it tells that not living forever is a good thing.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 2 year old Written byrote_cora June 20, 2010
age 9+
 
What other families should know
Great messages

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