I can't even begin to tell you how honored I am to be able to be a part of this blog tour for the 40th anniversary of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. I am going to admit right now on a groan that I had not read this book until now and I can't possibly understand why. This is clearly classic literature....yes, yes I know it is only 40 years old but hey if the music I listened to as a kid can be considered classics so can this novel. It's only when I, I mean it, starts being considered an Oldie that we have to worry right? *wink*
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Publication Date: January 1, 1975
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Classic Fiction
Age Recommendation: 7 and up
Rating: 4 Stars
Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.
What do I say, this is a beautiful tale about learning to live your own life, learning that the choices you make won't always be easy and that every choice has a consequence. Every thing about this book has the feel of a slow easy day about it. Yes there is plenty of drama, but in my mind I see it all happening in while the golden sun shines down against fields of wheat while butterflies flit about and your mind is lulled by the lullaby of this story. This is the kind of story that worms its way into your heart and finds the most comfortable place to settle in for your eternity. This is the kind of book that you read over and over, that you share with your loved ones, that you pass down to generations of children and ask them to sit where the sun streams down on them and bask in the warmth of the book as they begin a journey that will leave them curious and thoughtful and you will ask them when they are done, would you drink from the spring?
This is the question that was asked of all of us on this tour; What if you could live forever? I've pondered this question, I thought on it while I read the book and I have thought about it for many days after and I have a feeling I will continue to think on it for years to come.
What if I could live forever. You know every time I read a Paranormal Romance (my favorite genre so I read a lot of them) I think I would absolutely want to live forever. I would want to watch the world change, I would want to learn everything that I could, I would want the ability to travel the earth exploring old and new places. But then I think on these simple words said by Tuck and my entire view changes.
"You can't live without dying. So you can't call it living, what we got. We just are, we just be, like rocks beside the road."
That's the one thing I know, I wouldn't want to be the rock beside the road. A never changing entity that just watches as life passes me by. I wouldn't want to have to say like Jesse did.
"So far as I know, I'll stay seventeen till the end of the world."
In the end though even that rock would change and here I would be, watching everything around me while I stayed the same until the end of the world. Can I say that deep down there isn't something appealing about always being alive, I can. Perhaps it is simply the fear of death, the fear of the unknown that makes us all want just a little bit of eternity, but even that fear can't stop me from saying that no, no I wouldn't want to be that rock beside the road.
What if you could drink from the spring? What if you could live forever? Would you?
NATALIE BABBITT is the award-winning author of Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Knee-Knock Rise, and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-Ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Knee-Knock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Connecticut, and is a grandmother of three.