Thank you Macmillan for including me in the Tuck Everlasting 40 Days for 40 Years Anniversary Blog Tour. When I was asked to participate in this blog tour, I was thrilled. I first read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit in 1986 while I was taking a Children's Lit course. I read it on the heels of the Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson, and remember crying with both books. They will forever be paired together as two of the most powerful stories. True #heartprint books as some of my Nerdy Book Club friends refer to books that touch them deeply are books that leave a lasting impression on your mind, heart and soul. Tuck Everlasting will always be one of those books for me.
For the blog tour one of the things I am doing is asking a couple of teens who contribute to this blog to answer the question:
"Would You Drink the Water?"
Here is what Carolyn (High School Junior) had to say:
Would I want immortality? I don’t truly know. While I don’t like death (who does?), I think that some sort of finality can bring more meaning to a person’s life and their work. Additionally, I am religious, which I think can make the concept of death far less terrifying and overwhelming. I also don’t know if I would want immortality if my parents and my sister (along with important people I’ll meet later in life) couldn’t as well. Additionally, I do suffer from some medical issues, and even though I can’t die, I’m not sure if I would rather die than continue living but be on the brink of death.
Disregarding the philosophical and religious side of that choice, I think I might want to live forever – probably working in the Library of Congress so I could try to read every book ever written in the United States. Additionally, I could travel around the world and see lots of different places that my normal lifespan wouldn’t allow for; I could learn different languages and study so many different subjects. I could watch so many shows on Netflix (probably the only scenario in which I could see myself actually watching all of the seasons of Classic Doctor Who).
Overall, I don’t know if I would want to live forever, and it is precisely because of that ambiguity that I am, in some ways, glad I’m not offered that choice.
Jax (8th Grader) had this to say:
I would definitely not drink the water. As great as living forever seems to be, it also has a lot of negatives. I would say more negatives than positives because we make a lot of friends and meet a lot of people as we grow older and move on but we lose those people over time and if we are living forever we are losing more people then we would if we weren't planning on living forever because our friends would keep dying. Everyone is going to die except for you. You are going to have to live with all the bad things that you have seen as you keep going on in life and you will be living too many lifetimes to cope with yourself. After just one lifetime, many people are glad to go because they can leave their pain. But if you are never going to go then you are never going to escape that pain. I wouldn't want to experience so much pain to that extent in life.
However, if that part were to be ignored, I would try to experience and discover as much as I could. Whether it'd be finding the Lost Scrolls of Alexandria or watching the entire Harry Potter series with my best friend in one sitting. Most importantly, I would trace my whole entire family tree as much as I could. Not only would I discover the names of my ancestors, but I'd visit their towns, find papers about them, and interview people who could've known them. In conclusion, I would enjoy my life as much as possible, and figure out mysteries, from both my lineage and Earth's history.
How would I answer that question? I had to stop and think about this one. Though I think there could be some definite plusses to living forever, I am not sure I would want to for many of the obvious reasons. The continual loss of family and friends would be difficult. I wonder how changed or jaded one becomes if they live forever. Is there a cycle to life that is best when lived over a specified time period? And sure, I would love to have time to read, travel, explore new things, and try to make the world a better place. However, would I have the money and freedom to do that? Also, I wondered what would it be like if you did have someone or someones with you on this eternal journey, would you appreciate them? Or would you grow apart and resentful of having to be together? Oh this is a hard question, and a great one for discussions but I am so glad I don't have to actually choose.
So, would you drink the water?
About the book:
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of Natalie Babbitt’s celebrated, ground-breaking title Tuck
Everlasting (Anniversary edition on sale January 20). In celebration of the anniversary,
Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will publish a special anniversary edition featuring an
introduction from Wicked author Gregory Maguire.
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.
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 Natalie Babbit:
A gifted artist and writer, Natalie Babbitt is the award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Kneeknock 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. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a grandmother of three.
Check out all of the blogs participating in the Tuck Everlasting 40 Days for 40 Years Blog Tour here.
You can also follow along via social media with the hashtag #Tuck40th. To find out more about the book, download a teacher's guide, or to purchase your 40th Anniversary Edition of Tuck Everlasting, stop by Macmillan's website.