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Introduction to Natalie Babbitt

Children's Literature, Spring 2013

Victoria Smith

on 2 November 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Natalie Babbitt

Children’s Literature, Fall 2013
November 4
An Introduction to Natalie Babbitt’s
Tuck Everlasting

Born 1932 in Dayton, Ohio, the daughter of a labor relations administrator and his wife

Focused on art throughout her education, earning an art degree from Smith

Married her college boyfriend, Samuel Babbitt, a university administrator

Had three children and spent time with them at home before beginning her literary career
A Brief Biography of Natalie Babbitt
SOURCE: "Natalie Babbitt." Read.gov. Library of Congress. Web. 5 April 2013.
Began her career with two picture books: Dick Foote and the Shark (1967) and Phoebe’s Revolt (1968)

Has published a number of novel-length books for children, including The Search for Delicious (1969) and Newbery Award-winning Knee-knock Rise (1970)

Her work often indebted to a number of genres she enjoyed as a girl: fairy tale, fable, pastoral, mystery, and romance

Often lauded for her lucid and direct language and powers of description
Babbitt’s Literary and Artistic Career
Phoebe's Revolt (1968), in which eight-year-old Phoebe rejects frilly feminine clothing and eventually comes to a compromise with her parents
Well received and reviewed upon its publication in 1975, making many “best” lists at the end of the year

Received a Christopher award for juvenile fiction and a Phoenix award from the Children’s Literature Association

Has been adapted into many films, including the most recent 2002 Disney adaptation with Alexis Bledel
Publication and Reception of Tuck Everlasting
A coming-of-age narrative must start somewhere, must frame the point from which a character grows. What motivates Winnie? What is she growing away from?

What is she growing toward? In the novel, what does “home” or “reality” signify? What does “away” or “fantasy” mean?

Where do you see elements of fairy tale, fantasy, romance, realism, fable?

What does immortality look like in Tuck? What does it signify? What does the decision to stay young forever mean for characters in Barrie’s play, and what does in mean for Winnie and the Tucks in Babbitt’s novel?
Tuck Everlasting,
Discussion Questions
Full transcript