Written By: Natalie Babbitt
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Ages:12 and up
Tuck Everlasting is a book that I will never, ever forget reading. Tuck Everlasting starts out with the story of a young girl from a rich family named Winifred "Winnie" Foster. Winnie is tired of being told what to do, day in and day out; of being told how to dress, how to act and when and where it is appropriate to do things. So one day, Winnie sneaks out to the wood (which her father owns) across from the cottage where she lives and goes exploring. Winnie soon gets lost, but she then suddenly comes across a boy who appears to be about seventeen, drinking from a freshwater spring at the base of a big tree. Captivated by the young boy and fighting terrible thirst, Winnie approaches the boy and asks for a drink from it. Immediately terrified, the young boy, Jesse, staunchly refuses her a drink;coming up with all sorts of ridiculous excuses that just end up contradicting his actions. Angry and exhausted and from her excursions, winnie trys to push past Jesse and is suddenly swept up by someone on horseback. Before Winnie realizes what has happened, she has been kidnapped and then she finds out the miraculous story of the Tucks. A mother, a father and two boys, Jesse and Miles. They are immortal and the source of their immortality is the spring from which Jesse drank. The next few days are spent at the tucks house, explaining why winnie under any circumstances, CANNOT EVER tell anyone about the spring. Obviously, back home, Winnie has gone missing and her return is being negotiated by a cruel, coniving man in a yellow suit who knows the miraculous circumstances of the tucks. The man in the yellow suit will help return winnie in exchange for the deeds to the wood. One things leads to another and when the man in the yellow suit turns up and tries to take Winnie by force, Mae Tuck (the mother) clubs him over the head with a shotgun, inveitably killing him and earning a death sentence when the sheriff shows up in time just to see everything go down. Obviously, when Mae Tuck hangs, she will not die and so the rest of the book is how winnie manages to save Mae and break her out of jail.
Who would benefit from reading this book?
I would reccommend this book to anyone who would listen or stand still for me to do it. It is a book that everyone will enjoy, despite their literary genre preferance.
What problems do you see arising from this book?
The only thing I would have concern with in this book mostly has to do with the man in the yellow suit. He is cruel and coniving and uses blackmail in order to get what he wants, even threatening to murder Winnie or do harm to her if she doesn't come quietly. And of course, Mae Tuck unintentionally murders the man in the yellow suit when she is trying to protect winnie. Some children might not be comfortable with some of these types of themes.
What was your reaction?
I absolutely LOVE this book. I was first introduced to it in the fifth grade and have been in love with it ever since. It is a unique and tragically beautiful story that has the ability to pull people in and identify with the characters.