"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses its turning." This magical tale about drinking from a spring of immortality centers on a ten-year-old girl, Winnie Foster, who longs for freedom outside her parents’ fenced-in yard. She wanders through the woods and comes across Jesse Tuck, a handsome young boy, who introduces her to his family. Mae, Angus, Miles and Jesse let Winnie in on an extraordinary secret. After drinking from the spring near their house, they never aged another day. The Tucks kidnap Winnie—though she goes willingly—after telling her their story. As Winnie becomes more and more involved with the Tucks, and a deadly crime is committed, Winnie must decide whether or not she wants to experience life forever onwards.
Girls will like the fairy tale overtones, with Jesse as the charming prince and Winnie’s discovery of the Fountain of Youth. Boys will like the mysterious spy who follows the group and tries to uncover the Tucks’ big secret. Both will love the book’s surreal take on the very real issues of life and death, and explore the idea of what it would actually be like to live forever. A stellar choice to use for book discussion groups, the story will have children thinking deeply and discussing whether it would be a blessing or a curse to live forever.
Reviewed by CH.
Themes: ADVENTURE & ADVENTURERS. FANTASY. IMMORTALITY. MURDER.
Square Fish, 2007, c. 1975
Suggested Ages: 8 and Up