Tuck Everlasting
Would You Want to Be 17 Forever?

Karen Richey

Table of Contents:
Into the Literature
    • About the Author
    • Anticipation Guide
    • Prologue
    • Vocabulary Activities
Section 1: Prologue-Ch. 12
    • Vocabulary
Section 2: Ch. 13-Epilogue
    • Vocabulary
Chapters 1-5
    • Comprehension Questions
    • Literature Log Entries
Chapters 6-11
    • Comprehension Questions
    • Literature Log Entries
Chapters 12-18
    • Comprehension Questions
    • Literature Log Entries
Chapters 19-25
    • Comprehension Questions
    • Literature Log Entries
Wrap Up
    • Persuasive Essay
    • Student Work Samples
    • 6th Grade Standards Met By Project
Literature Unit
Figurative Language
Myths and Legends
Focus Content Area:
English/Language Arts
Grade Level:

Imagine coming upon a fountain of youth in a forest. To live forever--isnít that everyoneís ideal? For the Tuck family, eternal life is a reality, but their reaction to their fate is surprising. Award winner Natalie Babbitt (Knee-Knock Rise, The Search for Delicious) outdoes herself in this sensitive, moving adventure in which 10-year-old Winnie Foster is kidnapped, finds herself helping a murderer out of jail, and is eventually offered the ultimate gift--but doesnít know whether to accept it. Babbitt asks profound questions about the meaning of life and death, and leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the perfect cycle of nature. Intense and powerful, exciting and poignant, Tuck Everlasting will last forever--in the readerís imagination. An ALA Notable Book. Amazon.com

Into the Literature:

About the Author

Natalie Babbitt

photo of Natalie Babbitt

(Please note that the following profile was compiled by IPL staff who corresponded with this author in 1996. It has not been updated since. Those wishing to write to this author should not write to the IPL, as we do not have a way to contact her via e-mail. They should write her in care of her publisher at the following address: Books for Young Readers; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 19 Union Square West; New York, NY 10003)

Natalie Babbitt was born and grew up in Ohio. She spent large amounts of time in those early years reading fairy tales and myths, and drawing. Her mother, an amatuer landscape and portrait painter, provided early art lessons an saw to it that there was always enough paper, paint, pencils, and encouragement. In those days, Mrs. Babbitt wanted only to be an illustrator, and went on to specialize in art at Laurel School in Cleveland and at Smith College. She married Samuel Fisher Babbitt, an academic administrator, right after graduation, and spent the next ten years in Connecticut, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C., raising Christopher (born in 1956), Tom (1958), and Lucy (1960).

She and her husband decided to collaborate on a childrenís book, The Forty-Ninth Magician (Pantheon, 1966), and then came another move, this time to Clinton, New York, where Mr. Babbitt became the first president of Kirkland College, the womenís college coordinate to Hamilton College for men. Finding herself without a writer--college presidents are very busy people--Natalie Babbitt decided to try becoming her own author; and now finds that though she still enjoys illustrating, writing provides an equal challenge and is equally satisfying.

Believing in the beginning that she would do best with rhyme, Mrs. Babbitt wrote her first two books, Dick Foote and the Shark and Phoebeís Revolt, in verse. But The Search for Delicious could only be written in prose; it is a long story which has its roots in all the fairy tales she read as a child. After this came Kneeknock Rise (the reader must decide whether this one is a fantasy or not) and Goody Hall, both novels. The Something, a picture book for young readers, came in between, and the author freely admits that it grew out of her healthy distaste for the dark.

Since that time, Natalie Babbitt has illustrated five books for Valerie Worth. Four of them are poetry books and have been published together in a paperback edition, All the Small Poems. Mrs. Babbitt has written and illustrated two books of stories about the devil called The Devilís Storybook and The Devilís Other Storybook. Between these came three novels: the modern classic Tuck Everlasting, which explores the possibility that endless life may be more of a curse than a blessing; a seashore fantasy, which is really a love story, called The Eyes of the Amaryllis; and Herbert Rowbarge, hailed by PUBLISHERíS WEEKLY as "her crowning achievement". The story of a man who never knows he has a twin brother, it is the ironic and moving depiction of a life ruled by an inexplicable sense of loss.

Natalie Babbittís first full color picture book, Nellie: A Cat on Her Own, was praised in a starred BOOKLIST review as "a charming fantasy with the same graceful and precise language as Tuck Everlasting."

Natalie Babbitt, the grandmother of 3, lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Courtesy of Natalie Babbitt http://www.ipl.org/div/askauthor/babbitt.html

Anticipation Guide

Students will respond to the thought-provoking questions in the Anticipation Guide.  A PowerPoint presentation introduces the questions and the students respond on a worksheet.  The Anticipation Guide was taken from Teacher Created Materials, Inc.


A prologue is the opening section of a literary work, a kind of introduction that sets up the central themes or problems, as well as the work's tone or feeling.  After reading the prologue, make a few predictions about the themes of Tuck Everlasting.

Literature Connections SourceBook Mc Dougal Littell

Vocabulary Activities

Students will complete 2 vocabulary activities for Section 1 (Ch. 1-12) and 2 vocabulary activities for Section 2 (Ch. 13-25).  Activity Worksheet                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Section 1: Prologue-Ch. 12:



















Section 2: Ch. 13-Epilogue:

















Chapters 1-5:

Comprehension Questions

  1. Write a description of 4 of the characters introduced in this section.  Provide as much detail as possible about their physical characteristics, relationships, and personalities.
  2. What does the "touch-me-not" appearance of the cottage mean?
  3. Describe the woods next to the cottage.
  4. What amazing fact about the Tucks is revealed?
  5. Describe Mae's one special object.
  6. Why is Winnie thinking about running away?
  7. What 2 comments did Winnie's grandmother make about the music coming from the wood?
  8. What do you think the man in the yellow suit wants?
  9. What happened in the wood when Winnie went there in the morning?
  10. What do you think Mae Tuck meant when she said, "Well, boys, here it is.  The worst is happening at last"?


Literature Log Entries

Literature Log, Chapter 1

Why do you think it might be a terrible disaster if people discovered the giant ash tree and the little, bubbling spring?  Predict what you think might happen.

Literature Log, Chapter 2

What hints in chapter 2 foreshadow that something is different about the Tuck family.  Explain and support your answers.

Literature Log, Chapter 3

Have you ever felt like Winnie is feeling?  Is so, explain why and how you solved it.  If not, explain how you have avoided it.

Literature Log, Chapter 5

What kind of people do you think the Tucks are?  Give support from the text.

Chapters 6-11:

Comprehension Questions

  1. What was unusual about Winnieís kidnapping?
  2. What would you have done in Winnieís place?
  3. What did Winnie discover about the music she had heard the night before?
  4. What was the fantastic secret the Tucks told Winnie?
  5. List 5 events that the Tucks revealed as support for their incredible story.
  6. Why didnít the Tucks want Winnie to drink from the spring that morning?
  7. Why do you think the man in the yellow suit was smiling?
  8. How do Jesseís and Mileís views about the spring differ?
  9. How was the home lifestyle of the Tucks different from that of the Fosters?
  10. Why canít the Tucks stay in one place for very long?

Teacher Created Materials, Inc.

Literature Log Entries

Literature Log, Ch. 7

Do you believe the Tuck's story?  Why or why not?  Give support from the text.

Literature Log, Ch. 10

Winnie thinks it's sad that the Tucks don't belong anywhere.  What does she mean.  Support your answer.


Chapters 12-18:

Comprehension Questions

  1. How have Winnieís feelings changed?
  2. Describe Angus Tuck.
  3. Tell what Angus Tuck was trying to explain to Winnie at the pond.
  4. Why did Angus Tuck say that they are "like rocks beside the road"?
  5. What did Angus Tuck say might happen if everyone found out about the special spring?
  6. Why do you think the Tucks are so excited and pleased about having Winnie with them?
  7. What did Jesse ask Winnie to do?
  8. Why hadnít Miles taken his wife and children to drink the special water?
  9. What would happen if nothing ever died?
  10. What bargain did the man in the yellow suit make with the Fosters?

Teacher Created Materials, Inc.

Literature Log Entries

Literature Log, Ch. 12

Why is it so important to Tuck that no one finds out about the spring?

Literature Log, Ch. 16

What do you think the strangerís plan is?

Chapters 19-25:

Comprehension Questions

  1. How did the man in the yellow suit know about the Tucks?
  2. What clue made it possible for the man to recognize the Tucks?
  3. What do you think about the plans of the man in the yellow suit?
  4. Why did Mae hit the man in the yellow suit?
  5. Why had Angus Tuck looked at the body of the man on the ground almost enviously?
  6. Why was it so important that Mae not go to the gallows?
  7. How did Winnie feel about all that had happened?
  8. How had Winnie changed since we first met her at the beginning of the book?

Teacher Created Materials, Inc.



Literature Log Entries

Literature Log, Ch. 19

Was Mae right to do what she did?  Explain and support your answer.

Literature Log, Ch. 25

Do you agree with the constable that Winnie is a criminal because she had been an accomplice in freeing Mae from jail?  Should she be punished?  Give reasons for your opinions.


Wrap Up:

Persuasive Essay

Student Work Samples


6th Grade Standards Met By Project

ELA.6.1.2. Identify and interpret figurative language and words with multiple meanings.
ELA.6.1.4. Monitor expository text for unknown words or words with novel meanings by using word, sentence, and paragraph clues to determine meaning.
ELA.6.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Structural Features of Literature
ELA.6.3.1. Identify the forms of fiction and describe the major characteristics of each form.
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA.6.3.2. Analyze the effect of the qualities of the character (e.g., courage or cowardice, ambition or laziness) on the plot and the resolution of the conflict.
ELA.6.3.3. Analyze the influence of setting on the problem and its resolution.
ELA.6.3.4. Define how tone or meaning is conveyed in poetry through word choice, figurative language, sentence structure, line length, punctuation, rhythm, repetition, and rhyme.
ELA.6.3.5. Identify the speaker and recognize the difference between first-and third-person narration (e.g., autobiography compared with biography).
ELA.6.3.6. Identify and analyze features of themes conveyed through characters, actions, and images.
ELA.6.3.7. Explain the effects of common literary devices (e.g., symbolism, imagery, metaphor) in a variety of fictional and nonfictional texts.
ELA.6.1.0 Writing Strategies
Organization and Focus
ELA.6.1.1. Choose the form of writing (e.g., personal letter, letter to the editor, review, poem, report, narrative) that best suits the intended purpose.
ELA.6.1.2. Create multiple-paragraph expository compositions:
a. Engage the interest of the reader and state a clear purpose.
b. Develop the topic with supporting details and precise verbs, nouns, and adjectives to paint a visual image in the mind of the reader.
c. Conclude with a detailed summary linked to the purpose of the composition.
ELA.6.1.3. Use a variety of effective and coherent organizational patterns, including comparison and contrast; organization by categories; and arrangement by spatial order, order of importance, or climactic order.
Evaluation and Revision
ELA.6.1.6. Revise writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs.
ELA.6.2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.6.2.5. Write persuasive compositions:
a. State a clear position on a proposition or proposal.
b. Support the position with organized and relevant evidence.
c. Anticipate and address reader concerns and counterarguments.
Written and Oral English Language Conventions
ELA.6.1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions
Sentence Structure
ELA.6.1.1. Use simple, compound, and compound-complex sentences; use effective coordination and subordination of ideas to express complete thoughts.
ELA.6.1.4. Use correct capitalization.
ELA.6.1.5. Spell frequently misspelled words correctly (e.g., their, they're, there).