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Eeuwig en altijd Tuck (1975)
door Natalie Babbitt
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Read in July 2004, Read in August 2013
This story is about Winnie Foster and her meeting the Tuck family, which is a family who are unlike anyone our main character has ever met before. Their secret is that they can never die due to drinking from a magic fountain years ago. This novel talks about family, morality, and the opportunity of choice. It provides students the opportunity to wrestle with and understand some complex questions about life.
This is a short, sweet fantasy about a family that drinks from a mysterious spring, thereby attaining an immortal and ageless life. They encounter a ten-year-old runaway and tell her their secret. A mysterious stranger threatens to exploit the spring to make a fortune. This book was published in 1975 and, somehow, I missed reading it before now. It is set in New Hampshire in the 1880s. Themes include the circle of life and making good decisions. It would be a good joint reading experience for parents to discuss with their children.
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.
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Tuck Everlasting (Literature Guide, Grades 4-8) (Literature Guides) door Scholastic literature anthologies
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Winnie wordt ontvoerd door mensen die het eeuwige leven hebben, maar ze leert dat daar ook nare kanten aan zitten. Vanaf ca. 12 jaar.
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Dewey Decimale Classificatie (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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