Monday, April 11, 2016

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Title: Tuck Everlasting
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Source: Bought....a long time ago (19+ years)


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.


I hadn't read this book, or even thought about it much, since probably middle school. I picked it up to fulfill the "read a book that has been on your TBR for over a year" challenge in the #TBRTakedown 3.5 readathon that I participated in this past weekend. It has been sitting on my shelf for almost 19 years, ever since I read it in school and then picked it up at one of those scholastic book fairs. So, even though I had read this book, it wasn't this particular copy, and I figured it was time to revisit this childhood classic.

I always worry about revisiting old favorites. Especially children's books as an adult. But I needed worry on either account with this book. It help up to both just a re-read (I worry that I will predict each thing as it happens and take away from the enjoyment level of the read) and as an adult reading a children's book (it completely help my attention and had me captivated just as it did all those years ago).

I loved the messages throughout this book. It blew me away at how thoughtful and beautiful and poignant the author was in what she wanted to say with this story. And even as an adult, I was able to get so much out of this read that I wasn't expecting. It made me think a lot, and that always makes me happy when books are able to do that, but especially children's books. Because even though they might not get the same depth out of the book/message, they are going to get something the author is trying to portray, and that is a wonderful thing.

I was a little shocked by some of the scenes in this book, as it is intended for a younger audience. But at the same time really liked that the author didn't shy away from certain aspects of human nature when faced with immortality just because it was for younger readers. That makes the book even more of a hard hitter, and that much more important. Even though I was surprised by these moments, I wouldn't have wanted them told any other way, because they mean something in the story, and the characters development depend on them.

Winifred and the Tucks were such amazing characters. They jumped out of the page, in such a short amount of time I grew to be attached to them and their story so much. I wanted so much more story than we got, just based on the kind of cut scene at the end, but then again it was short because of the audience intended, so it made a lot of sense to do it the way the author did. I kind of felt that the development was a little uneven as far as the Tucks went. It seemed almost like an old '90s band cover. Jesse Tuck being the close-up and the other Tucks kind of faded in the background. I would say that the father might have been almost even with Jesse, but other than that we got little attachment to Miles, in my opinion. And that little bit kind of bothered me a bit as an adult reading it.

Overall, I was pleased with this read. It really got me thinking about how much more adults can get out of reading children's books. I don't know if my experience would have been different if I hadn't already had a connection with the story, and was already familiar with it, but I do recommend this for anyone. It packs a punch, that is for sure. And it is such a fun read overall.

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