Farewell, Natalie Babbitt

November 27th, 2016 by

tuck-everlastingWe’ve spent the last few days stuffing our faces, relaxing on the couch, and wishing we never had to return to the real world. But we didn’t want to let the month end without a tribute to beloved author Natalie Babbitt, who passed away on October 31st.

You probably know her as the author of Tuck Everlasting, the story of a girl who meets an immortal family and has the option to join them. Tuck Everlasting is definitely Babbitt’s most famous book, and was also adapted into a movie and a Broadway musical. But it started as a gift from Babbitt to her then 4-year-old daughter, Lucy, after Lucy woke up crying one day because she was scared of dying. Babbitt decided to write the story of Tuck Everlasting because she didn’t want Lucy to be anxious about death.

Babbitt’s other books include:

  • Goody Hall, a mystery set in a strange mansion
  • Kneeknock Rise, about a boy who visits a small village and tries to get to the bottom of an unearthly moaning noise in the mountains nearby
  • The Search for Delicious, which follows the journey of a young messenger taking a poll for the king, in order to determine the best example of the meaning of “delicious”
  • The Devil’s Storybook, a book of short stories about — who else? — the devil
  • The Moon Over High Street, in which an orphan has a sudden chance at a brand new life

Some of these books also include artwork by Babbitt, who began her career as a children’s book illustrator. Babbitt got her start when she did the illustrations to go along with her husband’s story in a picture book called The Forty-Ninth Magician.

Of course, as we know, Babbitt went on to be both an author and an artist — and her books have captivated generations of young readers over the years. Through the many stories she shared with the world, it seems safe to say that Babbitt lived up to this advice given by one of the characters in Tuck Everlasting: “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

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