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Tuck Everlasting  
Tuck Everlasting25.png
Cover to the 25th anniversary edition
Author Natalie Babbitt
Country United States
Language English
Subject(s) Immortality
Genre(s) Children's book, Fantasy
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication date 1975
Media type Print
Pages 106 pages

Tuck Everlasting is a fantasy children's novel by Natalie Babbitt, It was published in 1975. The book explores the concept of immortality and the reasons why it might not be as desirable as it appears. It has sold over two million copies and has been called a classic of modern children's literature.



The novel is set in the late 19th century, and its protagonist is ten-year-old Winifred Foster. She comes from a well-bred, straitlaced family and becomes lost in the woods one day during an attempt to escape her smothered lifestyle. In the woods, she encounters the Tuck family, who are immortal due to a spring from which they drank 87 years ago. The novel ultimately puts up an argument for mortality and why it is necessary, by using the Tucks as a counterexample.


In the years since its publication the novel has come to be regarded as a modern classic of children's literature.[1][2][3] It has become an international best-seller, with worldwide sales of over two million.[1] Horn Book Magazine called it "flawless in both style and structure", and Harper's described it as "the best work of our best children's novelist."[4]


The novel was selected as an ALA Notable Book as well as being included on the Horn Book Magazine Fanfare List. It has received numerous awards since its publication including the Janusz Korczak Medal and the 1976 Christopher Award for Best Book for Young People. It was included in Anita Silvey's book The 100 Best Books For Children.


The novel has twice been adapted to film. The first was released in 1981 and distributed by One Pass Media. The second was by Disney in 2002. It was directed by Jay Russell and starred Alexis Bledel as Winnie, Jonathan Jackson as Jesse, and William Hurt and Sissy Spacek as his parents. It received mixed, but generally favorable reviews and currently holds a 61% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The New York Post praised it as "handsomely crafted and well-acted".[3] It grossed $19,161,999 at the domestic box office and did not receive a wide-release in foreign territories.


  1. ^ a b "Tuck Everlasting". 
  2. ^ "Review by Clare Cannon of Portico Books". 
  3. ^ a b Lou Lumineck. "New York Post film review". 
  4. ^ "Macmillan Publishers: Tuck Everlasting". 


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Tuck Everlasting is a 2002 film about a young woman who meets and falls in love with young man who is part of a family of immortals.

Directed by Jay Russell. Screenplay by Jeffrey Lieber and James V. Hart. Based on the novel by Natalie Babbitt.
A secret is about to be discovered. An adventure is about to begin. (taglines)



  • Time is like a wheel. Turning and turning - never stopping. And the woods are the center; the hub of the wheel. It began the first week of summer, a strange and breathless time when accident, or fate, bring lives together. When people are led to do things, they've never done before. On this summer's day, not so very long ago, the wheel set lives in motion in mysterious ways. It set Mae Tuck out in her wagon for the village of Tree Gap to meet her two sons as she did once every ten years.
  • Winnie Foster was to be sent 500 miles away to be educated, but what her parents didn't understand was that she only wanted to step outside her fence... so she did. What in these quiet woods should be so forbidden? Winnie had always sensed a mystery waiting for her there.
  • For some time passes slowly, an hour can seem an eternity. For others, there's never enough. For Jesse Tuck, it didn't exist.
  • Winnie Foster was beginning to lose track of time. Had she been there a day? A week? A month? It seemed to Winnie that the Tucks lived in a way the rest of the world had forgotten. They where never in a hurry and did things the slow way. For the first time Winnie felt free to explore, to ask questions, to play.
  • Tuck said it to Winnie the summer she turned 15: Do not fear death, but rather the unlived life. You don't have to live forever. You just have to live. And she did.

Jesse Tuck

  • I'm going to see the whole world, every speck of it. Heck, I may even find some new continents or something!
  • Spend forever with me, Winnie?
  • I'm gonna be 17 until the end of the world!
  • How am I supposed to take you home when I can't make my feet move from this spot? If I could die tomorrow I would, just so I could spend one more night with you.
  • Winnie Foster, I will love you, until the day I die.
  • Winnie Foster, Drink this water when your 17 and we'll get married and live together forever!
  • I'm glad its okay with you!

Angus Tuck

  • What we Tucks have, you can't call it living. We just... are... like rocks, stuck at the side of the stream.
  • If there's one thing I've learned about people, many will do anything — anything — not to die. And they'll do anything to keep from living their life.
  • We aren't living the wheel of life! We are stuck in time it feels like


  • Immortality isn't everything the preachers crack it up to be.
  • The water tasted like heaven. It floated over your tongue like a cloud.
  • Tell Jesse were going to fix that mouth of his.


  • Mae Tuck: [to Miles] You're as cozy as barbed wire.
  • Mrs. Foster: I don't know everyone nor do I want to.


Mrs. Foster: [calling from window] Winnifred!
Winnie: [turns on side and starts talking to a toad] I need a new name. One that's not all worn out from being called so much.

Jesse: You shouldn't be in these parts of the woods. It's best you turn around and go home. [pause] Well, go on now, get!
Winnie: Excuse me, but I own these woods and I'll go on and get when I want to.

Mrs. Foster: [while strapping Winnie into corset] You must suffer to be beautiful, so say the French.
Winnie: Well the French are crazy.

Young Pastor: You speak blasphemy, sir.
Yellow Dude: Fluently.

Winnie: I can't swim.
Jesse: You're joshing me!
Winnie: I wish I were.
Jesse: So, you're afraid you'll drown, right? Swallow too much water, sink to the bottom, and die!
Winnie: Thank you for putting it so vividly, and yes, considering I'd sink like a rock, drowning is a fair concern!
Jesse: Well, I guess I'm just gonna have to enjoy this all by myself.

Jesse: Hey, Winnie Foster. You asleep?
Winnie: [groaning] Not anymore.
Jesse: Good. How would you like to see, the Eiffel Tower?
Winnie: What? Someday.
Jesse: No, right now, this instant. While the day is still ours.

Jesse: There it is. [Pointing to a mountain]
Winnie: This is the Eiffel Tower?
Jesse: The one in Paris - it's pretty tall. Mine is two feet higher.
Winnie: [They start to climb the mountain] Have you really seen the real one in Paris?
Jesse: Yes I have. And climbed 1,652 stairs to the top. Much easier than this. You doin' all right?
Winnie: I think so.
Jesse: You're doin' great. Here. [Gives her a helping hand]
Winnie: If I went to the Eiffel Tower I would take one of those elevators.
Jesse: Not with me! You'd take of your shoes and walk up every single, solitary step.
Winnie: How old are you?
Jesse: You really wanna know?
Winnie: Yes.
Jesse: 104
Winnie: I'm serious.
Jesse: So am I!
[Thinks about it]
Jesse: Let's just call it 17.

Winnie: I'd be much obliged. But I want a drink first.
Jesse: No. You can't drink that water. It's poisoned.
Winnie: I saw you drink some.
Jesse: Well, now I'm feeling sick.
Winnie: You hardly look ill. I'm dry as dust.

Mrs. Foster: [at her mother's funeral] Every time I look at you, you're different. I'm losing you, too.
Winnie: I'm right here.
Mrs. Foster: Forgive me, Winnie. I just wanted to keep you my little girl forever.

Mr. Foster: Just... what is your game, sir?
Yellow Dude: What is my game? You detect in me a playful mood?

Winnie: Jesse, don't let go!
Jesse: It's ok, it's ok. There's no chance of that, Winnie Foster. I'll never let you go.

Winnie: I don't wanna die; is that wrong?
Angus Tuck: No. No human does. But it's a part of being human.


  • A secret is about to be discovered. An adventure is about to begin.
  • If you could choose to live forever, would you?
  • Tuck's family drinks water from a magical spring, which allows them to live for eternity.
  • The spring holds the secret, the secret of life and death

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