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Tuck Everlasting

Written by Natalie Babbitt

Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon

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Tuck Everlasting Review

Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers General Fiction Star Books

Truly enchanting, timeless tale of everlasting life, life-changing friendship and everyday happiness. For ages 8 (to 80!)

First published in 1975, this extraordinary story of the friendship between the gentle Tuck family and ten-year-old Winnie feels older than its years, but also of our age, in the magical way true classics do. The story is enthrallingly set-up by juxtaposing three apparently unconnected happenings during the “strange and breathless days” of a hot August. As the Prologue states, and as things turn out, “things can come together in strange ways.”


Dissatisfied at home, Winnie longs to do “something that would make some kind of difference in the world.” Certain this will never happen “if I stay in here like this,” she explores her family’s wood and chances upon a “glorious” boy who stops Winnie in her tracks, and warns her against drinking from a spring. Winnie meets the boy’s family - the Tucks - and discovers a “big, dangerous secret” that must ever be revealed if their way of life is to be preserved, if the equilibrium of humanity is to be maintained, for the spring seems to have granted the Tucks everlasting life. 


In their company, in their warm-hearted, higgledy-piggledy home, Winnie “discovered the wings she’d always wished she had”. For their part, the Tucks say she’s the best thing that’s happened to them in “at least eighty years.” Then, when a yellow-suited stranger seeks to disrupt the Tuck’s lives, Winnie bravely leaps on her opportunity to make a difference.


Dazzlingly written (how about this for a description of sunset? “The sun was dropping fast now, a soft, red sliding egg yolk”), this is a wondrously wise story. Take Tuck’s remarks about the nature of life and death: “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.” With a bittersweet ending that brings tears to the eyes and warmth to the soul, I couldn’t love this book more. It’s that rare kind of tale that speaks of all things, to all ages.

Joanne Owen

Tuck Everlasting Synopsis

Winnie Foster is in the woods, thinking of running away from home, when she sees a boy drinking from a spring. Winnie wants a drink too, but before she can take a sip, she is kidnapped by the boy, Jesse Tuck, and his family. She learns that the Tuck family are blessed with - or doomed to - eternal life since drinking from the spring, and they wander from place to place trying to live as inconspicuously as they can. Now Winnie knows their secret. But what does immortality really mean? And can the Tucks help her understand before it's too late?

A beautiful paperback edition of the unforgettable classic of children's writing about what it truly means to live forever. Featuring illustrations by Melissa Castrillon.

Tuck Everlasting Press Reviews

Tuck Everlasting is one of the best books ever written - for any age -- Anne Tyler - New York Times

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

A fearsome and beautifully written book that can't be put down or forgotten - New York Times

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 - Boston Globe

Exciting and excellently written - New York Times Book Review

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781526615251
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781526615251
Publication date: 2nd April 2020
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Illustrator: Melissa Castrillon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens Books an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 224 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, General Fiction
Recommendations: Star Books
Collections: Our favourite children's books of 2020,

About Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt started out as an illustrator, and wrote and illustrated many novels and picture books for children. Her first book, Tuck Everlasting, was published in 1975. It has won many awards and been turned into two films and a Broadway musical. It is now considered a classic of children's writing. Natalie has also won numerous awards for her other books and in 2012 was awarded the inaugural E.B. White Award for achievement in children's literature. She died in 2016 at the age of 84.

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