The Immortal Tuck Everlasting
One of my favorite books as a young girl was Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting (1975). A children’s fantasy novel that explored immortaity, it was one of the first books I read that spoke of death at all.
Ten year old, Winnie, stumbles upon Jesse Tuck and the fountain of youth in the woods near her house. Can you imagine? To live forever? Isn’t that what powers every cosmetic company out there?! 🙂 Yet in the couse of events that follow, Winnie learns that living forever is not always the blessing people think it would be. When she is offered this ultimate gift, she has to decide if it is worth it.
This novel won the ALA Notable Book, the Janusz Korczak Medal, and the 1976 Christopher Award. It is considered to be a modern classic and has been made into two films and a Broadway musical.
Ms. Babbitt (1932-??) also worked as an illustrator and was a Hans Christian Andersen Award nominee in 1982. She was awarded the inaufural E. B. White Award for Achievement in children’s literature in 2012.
She also wrote The Search For Delicious (1969) which won the New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year. It centers on a young messenger for the king who winds up caught up in the civil war surrounding what food should represent “delicious” in the dictionary. His journey involves a 900-year-old creature, magic charms and underground dwarf caves.
Ms. Babbitt also wrote The Eyes of the Amaryllis (1977) about a ship that is lost at sea and those who are left behind. Goody Hall (1971) is about a mansion that seems to bewitch anyone who enters. The Devil’s Storybooks is an omnibus edition of The Devil’s Storybook (1974) and The Devil’s Other Storybook (1987). It is filled with some wicked little tales when the devil, ever the trickster, pops up in the world.
I have never read a Natalie Babbitt book I didn’t like and recommend her stories to all!