And I like that you know, that some things just get beautiful every time you see them And still there are some things that remain just as beautiful as the first day you saw them, never really becoming less or Unchanging Somehow you get accustomed to their charm, and the effect is lost on you It s not that beauty itself is lost or diminished, you just aren t startled or awed by it any I think I like the first variant.
I know, I know But what does this have to do with the review Well I thought about it What if there was snow all year round What if spring didn t give life, summer didn t celebrate it, autumn didn t kill it, and winter didn t bury it in heaps of white A life without change Everlasting stagnancy Would that life be as precious I don t think I d appreciate nature and the seasons as much, or think them as beautifulI don t think I d like it at all.
Time and change are all part of the entirety of life Birth and death, seasons changing, trees lush and barrenit s the circle of life, and nothing is beautiful And that s what this book is trying to sayingYou can t have living without dying So you can t call it living, what we got The Tucks are a family doomed to live an endless life, they bear the curse of immortality Ten year old Winnie Foster is a sheltered and miserable girl who longs for freedom and dreams of running away The lives of the two parties become entwined, and Winnie learns a little about the value of life in the first week of August, in the year 1880 But dying s part of the wheel, right there next to being born You can t pick out the pieces you like and leave the rest Being part of the whole thing, that s the blessing.
This story, the writing, the message, all of it was just simple and beautiful A lesson and toastHere s to dying, butfirst living.
5 5 stars.
This book is a quiet read Even the drama has a hot, sleepy, summer feel to it Have a lazy long weekend to just curl up, this is a small and in someways sad, read.
I teach this book to my students for lots of reasons It lets us talk about metaphors and similes The language is not complicated but it is artistic I use it when working with predicting texts Also, and maybe mostly, it s great for some of those big questions if you re having your students reflect upon life and family What would you do if you could live forever What about your family What is a family Who is a hero and who is a villain Good choices, safe choices, right choices or bad choices and why etc.
I read this book as a birthday gift to the one and only Awesome Kat Stark who is celebrating her birthday on September 27 SUPER HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAT read her wonderful review by clicking on her name I confess Once in my young life, I dreamed of becoming immortal and invisible and you have to admit you did too What, no You didn t Oh come on, admit it Don t leave me alone here Anyway, even if you deny it, I m here to speak on behalf of you dorks who dreamed of impossible dreams of flying, of different supernatural abilities and of becoming superheroes and there s no shame in that We were all children after all.
This classic tale addresses one of our childhood fantasies immortality Wisely told in a genuine classic formula, this is a heartwarming story about the Tuck family who never grew old Like any classic middle school books, this one will fascinate you, teach you, inspire you, entertain you and make you tear up a little it s inevitable.
After all, how can we forget Spidey s uncle s great words sniffs You ll never go wrong with middle school books AGAIN, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAT Enjoy your special day 3Want the same birthday gift, my friends Please comment by mentioning your birth date and the book you recommend This is going to be so much fun Natalie Moore was a writer and an illustrator who went on to marry a fellow writer named Samuel Fisher Babbitt Bibbity bobbity boo, next thing we knew, Natalie Moore was writing as Natalie Babbitt.
And Ms Babbitt went on to write this famous little book called Tuck Everlasting, a young adult story with a delicious cover and a clever, real writer s name A name that kept reminding me of someone who d be related to Bilbo Baggins and Peter Rabbit And, if you know Beatrix Potter s work, you can recognize that Natalie married a man whose two names are also titles of two of Potter s famous tales Samuel Whiskers and Mr Jeremy Fisher.
So was it a coincidence that Ms Babbitt s writing was so incredibly playful So magical I m not sure, but it is It made me think of both Beatrix Potter and Lewis Carroll, and the 10 year old protagonist, Winnie Foster, takes readers on an Alice esque journey of wonder and questions and confusion.
Here, in Tuck Everlasting, the grass is forlorn, the sky is blue and hard now, and the sun is a ponderous circle without edges Yet, it is not another world, a middle earth, or any such thing It is the United States, circa 1880 but you realize quickly that Ms Babbitt loved the natural world and liked playing around in a mess of words Words that work, and are fun.
But, in case you get confused and think it s playtime Ms Babbitt also lets you know that she likes to think really big thoughts and she challenges Winnie Foster and the reader with the killer question if you could be immortal, here on earth, would you be She asks the question, then she gives you several different ways of looking at this blessing of eternal life on earth.
By the end, you and Winnie are left scratching your ears.
You wonder This book is full of wonder And it s wonderful for readers and writers to be exposed to Ms Babbitt, who writes like a hobbit.
Once I got started, an everlasting pogo stick ride through the woodsThe first 30 pages of this award winning classic, I wasn t feeling the love BOR ing Description out the ying yang, and there I was out in nature again, where I risked running into bees and poison ivy while dying of the heat.
And there were other things that normally would chase me away It s fantasy, for crying out loud, and a KID S book It s too old timey the late 1800s And that means horse travel Give me zooming cars any day I didn t know I preferred cars to horses until this very second, but I guess I do Is it simply that where there are horses, there is manure And don t let me forget this huge crime characters with bad grammar I know, I know, it s authentic but it still hurts my editor ears.
So a lot of strikes, huh Well I m here to tell you that I loved this book about a girl who runs into a weird family But first I have to tell you why I was reading it in the first place For months now, I ve been reading books to Eliska, a 10 year old I kid sit for It was time for a new one As I began reading, I knew I was in trouble Eliska muttered boring after the first 20 minutes of nature descriptions My thoughts exactly What s the protocol for reading a boring book to a kid Is it okay to change your mind and ditch it I blame my bad memory for the pickle I found myself in I was absolutely sure my daughter Jess had raved about this book in middle school So after the first less than thrilling reading session with Eliska, I called Jess, anxious to brag that I was reading it and determined not to bum her out by telling her it sucked She said, I hate to tell you, Mombo, but I never read it What I had the wrong book Why the hell was I reading this slow book fraught with everything I hate Suddenly I felt okay about ditching it.
Then, ding, I remember Wow, yes, I remember now It wasn t Tuck Everlasting that Jess loved, it was Bridge to Terabithia Ha, that s what I should be reading I laughed and told Jess, wondering if I should switch out Tuck for Bridge I hate to tell you, Mombo, but I never read that one either OMG Now, secretly I KNOW she read that one, but I won t argue She wanted to set me straight so she started naming a bunch of Roald Dahl books she loved I madly scribbled down the titles, not trusting my memory one iota Meanwhile, what to do with Tuck Do I keep reading I did keep reading partly because I thought maybe it wouldn t be cool to ditch it, and partly because I thought that somehow I was setting a good example by trudging through the muck good people suck it up and wade through boring books Yeah, that s part of my kid sitting job description I m sure I m so so glad I did go on After those first interminably long 30 pages, I couldn t put the book down Suspense, surprises, perfect metaphors, a clever plot, terrific characters now you re talking Damn if I didn t love the good guys and violently hate the villain There was a lot of excitement and tension The book is short I wanted I wanted the book to be everlasting.
I actually am shocked that this book got pigeon holed as YA It seems like an adult book to me there s some dark stuff happening, plus the language does not sound kid like in the least I throw 5 stars out into the air as I merrily pogo stick through the woods no bees or poison ivy in sight Highly recommend Tuck Everlasting is one of those books everyone should read at a young age After all, who hasn t ever thought at least once about how it would be to live eternally, to be free to do everything you want to, to embrace life in all its different facets The way this short novel deals with eternal life and raising the question about whether or not that can be considered a blessing or doom makes it an important addition to the literary world.
Fast paced and easy to read, this is a book to devour in the course of three or four short hours, and while not the most involving book which can be found out there, at least it is able to make you think about what it would be like to have to live like the Tuck family does Wandering around eternally and restlessly, comdemned to live on this earth until its very end The book itself introduces the character of Winnie Foster, an eleven year old girl who meets the Tuck family and soon learns of their unbelievable secret that the four members of that family are immortal after they drank from a magic spring.
Natalie Babbitt s prose is strong and powerful, drawing a convincing picture of how life can possibly work without death Yet the book in itself is not without flaws she never allowed the characters to become realistic For me, especially the Tuck family felt like a gathering of stereotypes, and the lack of dynamics between the family members itself didn t help matters Yet the potential was exploited almost completely, additionally helped by some strong messages the connection between life and death, the ideas of human greed and constant change, the contrast between morality and craving, and the values of love and humanity.
The only thing which constantly bothered me was the way the Tuck family behaved at least except for Jesse, the youngest son If you are condemned to live your life on this earth forever, why constantly complain about your situation rather than actually doing something purposeful with your immortality But then, maybe that was yet another message Babbitt implied in her novel that the good hearted are almost never those who actually want to change something in this world, while those with immoral and evil minded purposes long to rule the world.
One day I was visiting my mother in law, a former high school English teacher She mentioned, as we were leaving, that she had two boxes of books that she was going to get rid of With visions of a literary treasure trove in my head, I quickly offered to take them off her hands so I could keep what I liked and dispose of the rest When I got home and opened the boxes, I found dozens of Sweet Valley High and Babysitters Club books I have NO idea where my MIL got them from, or why I was so disappointed.
But there were a handful of interesting books scattered among the rest, and one of those was Tuck Everlasting So I hung onto these few keepers and found a neighbor with a young daughter who was interested in taking the rest of the books off my hands Thinking about this now, I kind of feel guilty about it, like I need to go give her some better books I first read Tuck about 10 or 15 years ago and, even though it s a middle grade book, it has stuck with me all these years I still see a ten year old girl telling her troubles to a toad The toad, in its own small way, will be significant later on.
The Tuck family, a husband, wife and two sons ages 17 and 22, are simple, salt of the earth folk In the late 1700 s, they drink from a spring of water in a forest that turns out to be a sort of fountain of youth it makes them immortal, unable to die and permanently stuck at the age they were when they drank from the spring Many years later, a young girl named Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret The Tuck family takes her away with them for a day or two which soon leads to some plot complications while they desperately try to explain to Winnie why they think it s a terrible idea for her to drink from the magical spring herself, or tell anyone else about it All except the younger son, Jesse, who asks Winnie to wait until she s 17, then drink from the fountain and join him in eternal life.
The book is full of circle of life type of imagery a Ferris wheel pauses in its turning, seasons pass, water drifts downstream to the ocean The Tuck family feels like the wheel has stuck for them they re like rocks by the side of the road, while all around them people are changing and growing and living and dying Tuck tells Winnie But dying s part of the wheel, right there next to being born You can t pick out the pieces you like and leave the rest Being part of the whole thing, that s the blessing But it s passing us by, us Tucks Living s heavy work, but off to one side, the way we are, it s useless, too 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 It s an interesting philosophical question if you had the chance to drink from this fountain, why shouldn t you Is the downside really as bitter as the Tucks feel it is How would it affect our world if the word got out I do feel like the book kind of begs the question of why the Tucks couldn t learn , grow , have their sons find girls who would want to live eternally with them I wonder if that s part of the curse of the magical fountain, that they are somehow stuck in stasis mentally as well as physically I still would be tempted to take a chance on the fountain, but knowing I could never die or change, no matter what, would give me pause for thought I d be worried that eventually I d feel like I was permanently in Sweet Valley High, unable to escape.
It s an interesting little book and a quick read I recommend it.
Know what that is, all around us, Winnie said Tuck, his voice low Life Moving, growing, changing, never the same two minutes together Geez who wouldn t want to live forever Just think of the unlimited time to read you d finally get to EVERYTHING on your list There d be time to learn to play an instrument all the instruments You d have all the time in the world to master all sorts of skills.
But, there would be drawbacks, of course there would Just ask Dr Who You d have to watch your loved ones grow old and die You d still need to work and earn money And, one thing I never thought of until I read this book you d need to move around quite a bit, as others became suspicious of your lack of visible aging I want to grow again, he said fiercely, and change And if that means I got to move on at the end of it, then I want that, too If people knowed about the spring down there in Treegap, they d all come running like pigs to slops They d trample each other, trying to get some of that water That d be bad enough, but afterwards can you imagine All the little ones little forever, all the old ones old forever Can you picture what that means ForeverThe wheel would keep rolling by to the ocean, but the people would ve turned into nothing but rocks by the side of the road I ve decided that if I m going to work as a children s librarian, I should probably read some of the classics I suppose this is considered a classic though it was only published in 1975, it seems much older There is a timeless appeal to this book, but perhaps it is it s subject matter that makes it seem immortal I mostly enjoyed the book Things that annoyed other readers the age difference between Winnie and Jesse, the few plot holes, the ending didn t bother me a bit Ah, the ending I loved the ending I loved that the author view spoiler did not shy away from death a sad, but necessary part of life hide spoiler