I didn't discover the magic of Tuck Everlasting until the movie's release was imminent back in 2002 or so, but I'm one of those people who can't see a movie until they've read the book, so I promptly devoured -- and fell in love with -- the story. I love a book that challenges its readers: to challenge themselves, to think outside of the box, to think of the future, or to think about all the possibilities of a life really lived.
As part of the 40 Days for 40 Years: Tuck Everlasting Blog Tour, each blogger on the tour has been asked the same question that Tuck Everlasting has been asking for 40 years:
"What if you could live forever?"
Duh, I'd read all the books ever.
Seriously, though, IF I could -- and I'm not saying I'd necessarily want to -- but if I could live forever, it'd need to be an immortal existence where my presence didn't cause humankind any great harm. Think more like The Doctor and less like blood-sucking vampires, and you'd have what I'm envisioning. I'd want to spend my eternity seeing anything and experiencing everything. I'd take risks, do all the things that I'm afraid to do now. When you know death is next-to impossible to achieve -- if at all -- the world is at your fingertips. I wouldn't say I'd traipse across the globe, acting as if my actions had no consequences. But I'd definitely let my inner adrenaline-junkie loose more often.
However, I don't know that I could take that path and drink from the fountain myself. It would be thrilling at first, I'm sure. To see so much change, so many technological advances...it would be a marvel. But it would also be a very lonely existence. It would be a life of loss and isolation, never blending in or being able to make close attachments. Not unless you had a fellow immortal to traverse time with.
Either way, the questions this book asked made me appreciate this one life I've been given all the more...the first time I read it and again, more than a decade later. Whether you're reading it for the first time or the fifth, I hope Tuck Everlasting gives you something to think about, too.
Title: Tuck Everlasting: 40th Anniversary Edition
Author: Natalie Babbitt
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Date: January 20th, 2015 -- that's tomorrow!
Pre-order from Macmillan
Tuck Everlasting asks readers “What if you could live forever?” 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 of a blessing than it might seem. Then complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.
Upon the book’s publication in 1975, Natalie was greeted with concern from parents and educators who were stunned to read a book about death written for children. She is an author who challenges her readers and thinks the best questions are the ones without answers.
With a brand-new introduction from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, and additional bonus materials, this 40th anniversary will introduce a whole new generation to this timeless classic. The book has sold over 3.5 million copies in the US alone, and has never been out of print since publication.
About the author:
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.
Website | Goodreads | IMDb
So, this all begs the question: What if you could live forever? Would you drink from the spring?