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Tuck Everlasting

Book review by
Norah Caroline Piehl, Common Sense Media
Tuck Everlasting Book Poster Image
A timeless and thought-provoking novel.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 56 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

An eloquent lesson on mortality wrapped tightly in lyrical prose.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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


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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 year old Written byrote_cora June 20, 2010
Parent of a 9 year old Written byProudhelicopter September 9, 2012

Hmmm, not so much.

I think the reviewer is off in saying this book is for 9 year olds. My two 9 year old boys called it "too creepy." I stopped at page 41 and won't... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 7, 2010

Great Message

It's amazing!! I really like the message, it tells that not living forever is a good thing.
Teen, 13 years old Written byVelvet_Leggings_XD May 7, 2010

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 t... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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