Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting

Hardcover(Special edition, 40th Anniversary Edition)

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The classic novel about a young girl who stumbles upon a family's stunning secret

What if you could live forever?

Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.

But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret—and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey.

Praise for Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt:

“A fearsome and beautifully written book that can't be put down or forgotten.” —The New York Times

“Exciting and excellently written.” —The New York Times Book Review

“With its serious intentions and light touch the story is, like the Tucks, timeless.” —Chicago Sun-Times

“Probably the best work of our best children's novelist.” —Harper's

“Natalie Babbitt's great skill is spinning fantasy with the lilt and sense of timeless wisdom of the old fairy tales. . . . It lingers on, haunting your waking hours, making you ponder.” —The Boston Globe

“This book is as shapely, crisp, sweet, and tangy as a summer-ripe pear.” —Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374301675
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 01/20/2015
Edition description: Special edition, 40th Anniversary Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 144,006
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Artist and writer Natalie Babbitt (1932–2016) is the award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting and many other brilliantly original books for young people. As the mother of three small children, she began her career in 1966 by illustrating The Forty-Ninth Magician, written by her husband, Samuel Babbitt. She soon tried her own hand at writing, publishing two picture books in verse. Her first novel, TheSearch for Delicious, was published in 1969 and established her reputation for creating magical tales with profound meaning. Kneeknock Rise earned Babbitt a Newbery Honor in 1971, and she went on to write—and often illustrate—many more picture books, story collections,and novels. She also illustrated the five volumes in the Small Poems series by Valerie Worth. In 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture, and in 2016 a musical version premiered on Broadway. Born and raised in Ohio, Natalie Babbitt lived her adult life in the Northeast.

Read an Excerpt

Tuck Everlasting


Chapter 1

The road that led to Treegap had been trod out long before by a herd of cows who were, to say the least, relaxed. It wandered along in curves and easy angles, swayed off and up in a pleasant tangent to the top of a small hill, ambled down again between fringes of bee-hung clover, and then cut sidewise across a meadow. Here its edges blurred. It widened and seemed to pause, suggesting tranquil bovine picnics: slow chewing and thoughtful contemplation of the infinite. And then it went on again and came at last to the wood. But on reaching the shadows of the first trees, it veered sharply, swung out in a wide arc as if, for the first time, it had reason to think where it was going, and passed around.

On the other side of the wood, the sense of easiness dissolved. The road no longer belonged to the cows. It became, instead, and rather abruptly, the property of people. And all at once the sun was uncomfortably hot, the dust oppressive, and the meager grass along its edges somewhat ragged and forlorn. On the left stood the first house, a square and solid cottage with a touch-me-not appearance, surrounded by grass cut painfully to the quick and enclosed by a capable iron fence some four feet high which clearly said, “Move on—we don’t want you here.” So the road went humbly by and made its way, past cottages more and more frequent but less and less forbidding, into the village. But the village doesn’t matter, except for the jailhouse and the gallows. The first house only is important; the first house, the road, and the wood.

There was something strange about the wood. If the look of the first house suggested that you’d better pass it by, so did the look of the wood, but for quite a different reason. The house was so proud of itself that you wanted to make a lot of noise as you passed, and maybe even throw a rock or two. But the wood had a sleeping, otherworld appearance that made you want to speak in whispers. This, at least, is what the cows must have thought: “Let it keep its peace; we won’t disturb it.”

Whether the people felt that way about the wood or not is difficult to say. There were some, perhaps, who did. But for the most part the people followed the road around the wood because that was the way it led. There was no road through the wood. And anyway, for the people, there was another reason to leave the wood to itself: it belonged to the Fosters, the owners of the touch-me-not cottage, and was therefore private property in spite of the fact that it lay outside the fence and was perfectly accessible.

The ownership of land is an odd thing when you come to think of it. How deep, after all, can it go? If a person owns a piece of land, does he own it all the way down, in ever narrowing dimensions, till it meets all other pieces at the center of the earth? Or does ownership consist only of a thin crust under which the friendly worms have never heard of trespassing?

In any case, the wood, being on top—except, of course, for its roots—was owned bud and bough by the Fosters in the touch-me-not cottage, and if they never went there, if they never wandered in among the trees, well, that was their affair. Winnie, the only child of the house, never went there, though she sometimes stood inside the fence, carelessly banging a stick against the iron bars, and looked at it. But she had never been curious about it. Nothing ever seems interesting when it belongs to you—only when it doesn’t.

And what is interesting, anyway, about a slim few acres of trees? There will be a dimness shot through with bars of sunlight, a great many squirrels and birds, a deep, damp mattress of leaves on the ground, and all the other things just as familiar if not so pleasant—things like spiders, thorns, and grubs.

In the end, however, it was the cows who were responsible for the wood’s isolation, and the cows, through some wisdom they were not wise enough to know that they possessed, were very wise indeed. If they had made their road through the wood instead of around it, then the people would have followed the road. The people would have noticed the giant ash tree at the center of the wood, and then, in time, they’d have noticed the little spring bubbling up among its roots in spite of the pebbles piled there to conceal it. And that would have been a disaster so immense that this weary old earth, owned or not to its fiery core, would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin.



TUCK EVERLASTING. Copyright © 1975 by Natalie Babbitt. All rights reserved. For information, address

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 18 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011.

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions:

Note: Page numbers listed below refer to the trade paperback edition.

1. On page 39, Miles describes losing his family as they aged and he didn't. Think about spending the rest of eternity at your current age. Who would you lose? What would you gain? Would it be worth it?
2. On page 64, Tuck tells Winnie, "You can't have living without dying. So you can't call it living,
what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road." What do you think he means by this?
3. On pages 99–100, the man in the yellow suit tells the Tucks, "Did you really believe you could keep that water for yourselves? Your selfishness is really quite extraordinary, and worse than that, you're stupid." Who is really selfish and unintelligent here, and why?
4. On page 119, Winnie thinks of the Tucks, "They were helpless. Or too trusting. Well, something like that." What do you think they are? If you knew you were going to live forever, how would that change what you worried about and how you interacted with other people?
5. On page 126, a huge thunderstorm hits Treegap. Why do you think the author chose to have the storm here? How is the weather related to the plot of the story?
6. Jesse and Miles feel quite differently about their immortality. How does each feel about it? Who do you identify with more?
7. People sometimes think immortality is desirable. What are some reasons the Tucks would give to argue against that?
8. It's wrong to commit murder, but was Mae Tuck wrong to kill the man in the yellow suit? Why or why not?
9. Winnie broke the law when she hid in in Mae's cell to let her escape. Imagine you are Winnie's lawyer. What would you say to the court in her defense?
10. Compare the beginning and end of Tuck Everlasting, and discuss how Winnie's character changed.
11. Sometimes, people can be afraid of dying. After reading Tuck Everlasting, how have your thoughts on death changed (if at all)?
12. Think about the title of this book. What does Tuck Everlasting mean to you? What might it mean to Winnie?
13. Does this novel have a happy or sad ending? Why? If you could rewrite the final chapter, how would the ending change?

Customer Reviews

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Tuck Everlasting 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1038 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is for all ages and it makes one stop and think....how should I live my life before I get to my final destination. I read the book a few years ago and still think about the bottom line of the book on a regular basis. Think of how much the Tuck family could have done while living forever - how much good they could have done for others. We're all in our 'rented' space for a brief period on earth - make the best of our time and don't be idle with the gifts you have to share with others. A great book for middle schoolers through adults - I highly recommend the book.
Balina More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed every minute reading this. Can only recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book review is about a book titled Tuck Everlasting. It is by an author by the name of Natalie Babbitt. The story is about a family ¿the Tucks¿ who drink from a magic spring, and become immortal. The Tuck family meets a little girl named Winnie Foster who comes upon their secret. So they take Winnie, and told her what happens when you drink from the magic spring. During all of this, a mysterious man tries to steal the magic spring water, and sell it for a profit. If you want to find out any more, I guess you¿ll have to read the book for yourself.
I thought this book was very unique. Natalie Babbitt uses very descriptive words. When you read this book you will feel like you are right there with the Tucks. When the book describes Winnie Foster it will remind you of when you were a child, always running around and exploring. I believe the message to this story is ¿Be careful what you wish for¿. That is the theme of the story because some people in the real world ask for things they wish they had, but they never know how bad it could be if they did get what they want. This is a good but unique book.
If you like books really unique story lines, and good endings this is a book for you. Tuck Everlasting makes you think about life. What would you do if you could live forever? Would you think it is a good thing, or would you think that it is horrible that you could never die? What do you live for if you can live forever? This book is one of the best books you will read in your life time. Tuck Everlasting is a book for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. It is fun, magic and fantasy all in one book. The book is about a ten year old girl named Winnie Foster. She has a really boring life living behind a fence in the woods. So Winnie decides to run away. She meets a boy named Jesse Tuck and discovers that his family has a secret: they have eternal life after drinking from a magic spring. The Tucks then have to kidnap Winnie until she promises not to give away their secret and explain themselves. Winnie grows close to Mae (the mother), Tuck (the father), and Miles and Jesse (brothers). But trouble arises when an evil man tries to take Winnie away and give away the Tuck's secret. I loved this magical adventure. The positives were the characters. They are funny, nice, and add love to the book. Also, there were many cliffhangers that encouraged the reader to keep reading. And finally, the magic and fantasy made the book really enjoyable. But there were some negatives, too. Parts of the story were rushed, so not enough details were given, making some things confusing. And the beginning was a bit dragging, so it may not pull readers right away. But other than that, the book is very well done. The writing style is a bit old-fashioned. The author uses terms that aren't used as often anymore. Also, she has a very formal way of writing. I recommend this book for any age because it is a fun fantasy, and the characters are likeable. It is appropriate for young kids, and not too "little" for older kids. It can be read for pleasure, or anything else, like reports. Fans of Harry Potter and Twilight might like this story, because it has a familiar theme: a lonely kid falls upon a secret and bonds with the people that share it. It's more similar to Twilight because as in that book, the people will always be alive. Also, the book Ingo, by Helen Dunsmore, has a similar theme of discovery. Finally, Tuck Everlasting was a great book and can be enjoyed by everyone.
Winni-Foster More than 1 year ago
i find that stories like this can carry you away for days on end wheather you are visiting neverland or spending a day with lassie you will always find comfort and care in the hands of these unforgettble charecters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG! This book is amazing. I also reccomend the movie, too. It has alot of great actors. It is about girl who learns a seceret, one which she can never tell. Along th way she makes four fabulous friends, which she wil keep forever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was required reading for my sons' fifth grade class but I enjoyed reading it as well. It is beautifully written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 10 yr old daughter loved it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book gets really boring in the beginning but then it gets really into to the story that make you never stop reading the book and i didn't even want to read it in the first place but i had to for a grade.i loved the book and i'm so glad i read this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. Do it. If you dare!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi im a girl. My name is Nayelli S. I am 11 years old and last year in 5th grade i read it and i totally loved this book i toatally recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first its confusing but after u start reading a cople chapters u just want to read on and on
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tuck Everlasting is an AMAZING book. If you don't think it will be great, just read it. I read it in class and was hooked from the beginning. Not only is it an amazing story, it really makes you think about life. I recomend it for all ages!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I am only 10 and cried at the end. I reccomend it to evryone of all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The movie is awesome to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I did not buy it though, I read it in school for reading. I had to do a whole bunch of papers on it . It was really exciting. This is a good book for ages 9 to 13. Girl or boy it doesn't matter. 8:)
cgeiger1 More than 1 year ago
GREAT children's book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much it is so awesome i was sad when the tucks founfd out winnie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a great book any one would like it if you like fantasy and jumping out of your seat you will LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!anyone who who says it stinks they are liars - - i cant stand those people . 2thumbs up for this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I HAD TO READ THIS BOOK FOR SUMMER READING. OF COURSE I WAS BUMMED.WHEN I READ THE FIRST CHAPTER I WAS LOST.COULD NOT UNDER STAND ANY PART. BUT AS I STARTED GETTING INTO CHAPTER TWO IT STARTED TO CATCH MY MIND. IT IS A GREAT BOOK! I LOVE IT! THANK GOD MY TEACHERS ASIGNED ME THIS BOOK CAUSE I WAS VERY INTERESTED IN IT! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BUY IT TODAY BECAUSE ITs A GREAT BOOOOOOKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT HOW EVER TO BE INTERESTED IN IT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IT OKAY. I RECOMEND THIS BOOK TO AGES 10+ SO THATS MY STORY WHATS YOURS? CANT COMPETE WITH THAT! SO MY POINT IS BUY IT! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LETS GO TUCK EVERLASTING ....................................... ***********************************.********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************* ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great, it is about a ten year old girl named Winnie who meets the tucks. The tucks are immortal because they drank from a magical spring. The story is abouttheir struggles with the man in the yellow suit who wants to make the magical watwr available to everyone. I highly recommend this book. It is not confusing at all and Natalie Babbit's writing style is wonderful. I couldn't put this book down, you will not regret reading this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My dad used to read me this book when I was a little girl and I still love it today,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is probably the best book ever!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book you should read it! Im Jadelyn (Jade-lin) Kiryun (Kur-in) Gilluion (Gill-ie-on) and im tweleve (12) and i post of reviews and im in 5th grade! So if you see my name somewhere or see the name Jadelyn KG, tht would be ME!!! Oh an by the way, im a girl :-)