Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tuck Everlasting: 40th Anniversary Blog Tour


Today I’m thrilled to be a part of the promotional tour for the 40th Anniversary Edition of Tuck Everlasting. Confession: I was not a big reader in school. I read what was assigned and not a page more because I found required reading to be an absolute chore; the fact that I was going to be tested on my ability to cough up the material in a final exam sucked all the fun out of the characters and story (Crime and Punishment haunts me still). There were very, VERY few books I read in middle and high school that had me reading ahead of what was assigned, but one such book was Tuck Everlasting, and it remains a favorite of mine to this day.

As part of the tour we’ve been asked to address a question posed by the book: What if you could live forever?

I’m going to tackle this question in two parts: The first, my answer to this question as it would have been in 7th grade when I first read this book, and second, my answer now as an adult.

In 7th grade, I can honestly say I would have opted to drink from the spring immediately (well, maybe postponed it for a few years until I was a touch older since you remain the age you are when you take that first sip) and live forever. When I was that age, it felt like the whole world was before me and there couldn’t possibly be enough days in a lifetime to do everything I wanted to do. My answer to "what do you want to be when you grow up?" changed weekly then, and I know my younger self would have done a happy dance at the thought of being able to be a vet, and then an Olympic equestrian showjumper, and then a movie star, and then an artist, and then whatever else struck my fancy instead of having to buckle down and focus one just one. I would never run out of time, so I could be any and all professions if I so chose.

And I could travel endlessly! I could visit places like this:




 And stay weeks or even years. Then I could move on to the next place:



And the next:


And stay there even longer (seriously, I could spend months getting lost in Catherine’s Palace)! Meet new people and do strange, wonderful new things without worrying about time or money, because when you live forever you have time to accumulate whatever funds you might need. Obviously.

Now though, my answer would be quite different. I wouldn’t drink from the spring if you paid me to. I think so much of the joy in life comes from the fact that our time is finite, and we experience certain things more profoundly given our chances of doing so again are unlikely. People say things are “once in a lifetime” experiences and all the more special as a result, and I can’t help but think they wouldn’t be as magical or memorable if you had hundreds of lifetimes to check things off a bucket list that is in fact not a bucket list at all. It would just be a list of things you'd undoubtedly have time to do.

After the changes I’ve made in my life this past year, starting a new business and taking my career in a direction that's better for both my creativity and my sanity, I’m finally more content and comfortable in my life than I have been in a long time. I have goals I want to achieve in the coming years, but I know the kind of person I am, and if I had all the time in the world to do them, they’d never get done ;-) Living forever would simply be a never-ending stretch of procrastination, and there's no fun to be had in that for me!

So to wrap this ramble up, if you asked the 7th grade version of me to drink from the spring, she would have jumped on that without so much as a second thought, but adult me is happy with life just the way it is (except I wouldn't mind if Chris Hemsworth showed up on my doorstep tomorrow to profess his undying love for me. Just saying.) :-)

What do you guys think? Live forever or take this one life and make the most of it?

• • • • • • • • • • • •

TUCK EVERLASTING


Blessed with—or doomed to—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. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

A brand-new introduction from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, and additional bonus materials make this special edition of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting a must-have for lovers of the book and a great way to introduce a new generation to a classic.

The 40th Anniversary edition releases January 20th, be sure and preorder your copy!

29 comments:

  1. I still haven't read this one, I seem to have missed many English classics while I was reading Spanish literature from the Golden Century for my class reads!

    I'm gonna be reading it this month as it is chosen in The Midnight Garden Classic YA & MG readalong, and I'm quite excited!

    I don't think I'd choose to live forever either, as Freddy Mercury said, it's too long a time!

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    1. It's a very long time Pili. I would gladly take an extra 25 years or so, but I definitely wouldn't want forever:)

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    2. Agreed! A few extra years maybe, but not forever, thank you very much!

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  2. Awesome post, Jenny! I taught this book for years to 6th graders and it was one of my favorite books to teach -- it inspired so much discussion and the timeless themes are definitely worth talking about. I love your answer. I completely agree with you. Your comment about Chris Hemsworth made me laugh out loud. I'll take his brother Liam, too…some great genes in that family.

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    1. I can't help it Christina! I love Chris Hemsworth. He's so pretty. As is his brother. Hot, all of them:)

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  3. That's an interesting question to ask! I would probably also have chosen to travel all of the world but I have to admit I'm not too sure how I would answer this question.
    Also, lol! I love that you're so obsessed with Chris Hemsworth! :)

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    1. I know I am! I love him:) And immortality is tempting in its ways, but it would get old pretty fast I think.

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  4. I am very glad you didn't drink from the spring in your younger years because then you wouldn't be in our lives and we would have missed out on so much love and joy. I am blessed.

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    1. Stop it. You're going to make me cry:)

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  5. Absolutely love this and those pictures are gorgeous! Can you believe I have never read this book? I have seen and loved the movie. I rarely read a book if I have seen the movie first but this may be one of those times I make an exception.

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    1. It's a quick read Ali, so get on it! This and To Kill a Mockingbird topped my list of favorite reads in middle/high school:)

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  6. I love this answer, Jenny! This book is my childhood. It's everything to me. <3

    I would totally want to learn as many languages as possible. Silly, huh?

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    1. No way! I would love to learn more languages, but I'm really lazy, and I just don't have the motivation at the moment:)

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  7. I used to think I would love to live forever but honestly now with some experience under my wings--nah! I think if I had more time would it be filled with the resources to do everything I would want? If it wasn't then it would be a long long life.

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    1. I definitely would have chosen immortality when I was younger, but no thank you now:) I wouldn't mind having 2 years or so to be able to travel without having to worry about work or money though!

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  8. My post goes up next week for this, and I adored this book as a child and as an adult. I wouldn't want to live forever. I would hate to watch everyone I love around me age and die, and I would hate not being able to form close bonds with others.

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    1. Me too Heidi. If I chose immortality, it would be contingent on everyone I love choosing immortality as well. But then of course that's a LONG time to live, even with people you love:)

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  9. We didn't have to read this school so I guess I never did. But I think I would have chosen to drink from it in 7th grade as well. Now as an adult my answer was no, but I would consider it if it was like 500 years instead of forever. That's just too long!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing - maybe I would go for an extra 100 years, but not forever:)

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  10. I would need lots and lots of money to live forever cos work forever, gods no

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  11. I've always said that there are worse things than death. I also would love to have the experience that could only be had with several lifetimes. In the end I don't think I would drink since living forever could become it's own problem and you wouldn't eventually appreciate the little things that make life worth living.

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    1. Exactly. I like being able to appreciate the little, quiet moments:)

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  12. I actually haven't read this book *hides*. So I am pretty much an odd bird.... but I've been wanting to if that counts???

    If you asked the 7th grader me to drink from the fountain, I would have declined the offer. I guess the idea of an eternal life has always kind of freaked me out. It seems so weird imagining that you'd have forever to do whatever you want. What would be the point of anything then? As your love ones slowly died one by one and you were the only one left. I'd have no incentive to do anything! Gah :P I don't know how vampires survive the ages :P

    Thanks for sharing this post with us, Jenny! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. At least in this story the family all drank together, so they share immortality. It would be more tolerable that way, but I still don't think I'd drink, even if my entire family drank with me:)

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  13. I always wanted to know what was up with the creepy man in the yellow suit in this book. Do you remember him, Jenny? And yes, I do agree with your answer. It's funny that in all of the paranormal immortals that we've read or watched, they all want to be human.

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  14. I absolutely loved Tuck Everlasting, and I totally would have had a sip from the spring when I was younger. Now I think I'd have a bit more pause like you. I can see myself doing the never ending procrastination thing too, which is definitely not good. But on the other hand, all that travel you speak of is still VERY exciting to me. Hmmmm.....decisions.....luckily this is a fictional problem so I don't have to angst about it too much. :-)

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  15. I've never read or even heard of this book until recently! But then again, I grew up in a non-English speaking country, but now I'm so in love with the concept of the book - I hope I'll have the chance to read it soon :)

    As for the living forever... I think that if I could choose another 500 years or so, I'd not hesitate, but forever? What does that even mean? And it would indeed be terrible to watch everyone you love die before you... But on the other hand, immortality has always appealed to me with its infinite possibilities :)

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  16. I have never read Tuck Everlasting, but I do need to at some point. It sounds like you have grown up and matured, and I like how your answer would've changed as time went on. Yes, it is good to travel and enjoy life, but there is something magical in knowing it can't last forever in itself.

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