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Tuck Everlasting

Answer Key Novel Study Guide

Natalie Babbitt


Answer all questions in sentence form.


  1. The author describes this time of summer by using the analogy of being at the top of a Ferris wheel.  After reading her description, create some of your own analogies to describe this time of summer.

  2. Answers will vary but students could mention such things as: a roller coaster, the pendulum on a grandfather clock, a child on a swing or a diver in mid-dive.
  3. Who sets out at dawn?

  4. Mae Tuck sets out on her horse at dawn headed for the wood near Treegap.
  5. Who was Winnie Foster?

  6. Winnie Foster was a young girl who lived next to Treegap wood which was owned by her parents.  She was growing impatient and thinking about running away.
  7. Who appeared at Foster's gate at sunset?

  8. A stranger who was looking for someone, appeared at Foster's Gate at sunset
  9. Explain in your own words what the author meant when she described the woods as the centre of the wheel--the hub?

  10. She meant that this was the focal point of the story, the common connection between the three characters introduced in the prologue and the place where they would all be drawn together.
  11. List some synonyms and antonyms for the word everlasting.

  12. Synonyms could include forever, infinity, and eternity while some antonyms might be short-lived, ephemeral, temporary and transitory.

Vocabulary: balmy, smeared, quivers, patience, undisturbed

Enrichment: Compare the seasons in both hemispheres.  Are there any differences?  Do you think that weather and seasons affect people's moods?  What is your favourite time of year?  Explain why.

What is a prologue and what purpose does it serve?  Why not simply begin the story with the first chapter?


Chapter One

  1. What dichotomy does the author create through her comparison of cows to people?

  2. The author creates a dichotomy between nature and civilization or relaxation and stress.  Some readers may even interpret the dichotomy between cows and people as that of good versus evil.  The sun turns uncomfortably hot and the dust becomes oppressive as soon as we enter the world of people.
  3. What does the iron fence "say"?

  4. The four foot high iron fence conveys the message, "Move on--we don't want you here.
  5. Who owned the touch-me-not cottage?

  6. The Foster family owned both the touch-me-not cottage which was situated on private property and the woods located nearby.
  7. According to the author, why had Winnie never been curious about exploring the woods?

  8. The author states that nothing is interesting to us when we own it.  It is only when someone else owns it that we become curious.  Babbitt implies that the forbidden has a certain allure.
  9. What is located near the giant ash tree?

  10. A bubbling spring, partially covered with pebbles to conceal it, is located near the giant ash tree.
  11. Although we are not told, suggest reasons why it may have been a disaster if the spring had been discovered by people.

  12. Answers will vary.

Vocabulary: trod, tangent, ambled, fringes, meadow, blurred, tranquil, bovine, contemplation, infinite, veered, dissolved, oppressive, meager, forlorn, humbly, accessible, isolation, core, axis

Enrichment: This chapter discusses the concept of land ownership.  Describe the author's feelings about it and then express your own feelings concerning land ownership.  Discuss some alternatives to the present form of land ownership.  How did the aboriginal peoples treat the ownership of land?  Outline the problems we might face if the concept of land ownership was suddenly revoked or disallowed by the government.

Design a title page for your notebook.  Create and illustrate a book slip or cover for your novel.  Create and illustrate a bookmark for Tuck Everlasting and use it.


Chapter Two

  1. Why did Mae's husband resent being awakened by his wife?

  2. He had been dreaming about being in heaven where no one had heard of Treegap.
  3. Why did Mae want to go to the woods?

  4. Mae wanted to ride her horse to the woods so she could meet her sons.
  5. What did Mae place into her pocket?

  6. She placed a small square-shaped music box, decorated with painted roses and lilies of the valley, into her pocket.
  7. What strange thing is revealed at the end of this chapter?

  8. The reader discovers that Mae Tuck and her husband as well as her two sons, Miles and Jesse have remained unchanged for eighty-seven years.

Vocabulary: melancholy, creases, tolerantly, petticoats, bosom, tarnished, rueful, brim

Enrichment: Create a newspaper about the book.  Add a new article for each chapter.  Share the newspaper with a friend.

Design a poster promoting your novel and request permission to post it in the school library.


Chapter Three

  1. Why would Winnie like to have a sibling?

  2. Winnie feels smothered by her parent's attention.  A sibling might deflect some of that attention, allowing Winnie to just be herself.
  3. What promise does Winnie make to the toad?

  4. She promises the toad that she will run away soon, perhaps even tomorrow.

Vocabulary: bristly, stationary, hysterical, gnats, suspended, intrusions, grimace, plucking, heave, cooped, exasperated

Enrichment: Form a small discussion group and come up with solutions as to how a child can handle over-protective parents.  Create some actual scenarios and then act them out with some of your classmates.


Chapter Four

  1. What is Winnie doing as the stranger approaches the Foster gate?

  2. She is busy catching fireflies.
  3. Why does Winnie's grandmother come down the path to the gate?

  4. She realizes that Winnie is talking to a stranger and she is obviously concerned about the young girl's safety.
  5. What suddenly distracts the older woman's attention as she talks to the stranger?

  6. Winnie's grandmother is suddenly distracted by a wisp of familiar music coming from the woods--music that she hasn't heard for a long time.
  7. Winnie and her grandmother have different views about what is making the music.  Explain.

  8. Winnie thinks the music is coming from a music box while her grandmother insists that elves are making the music.
  9. Why does the stranger wear an expression of satisfaction at the end of the chapter?

  10. Answers will vary as the reader is not told.  The man is quite taken by the music coming from the woods and may believe that the music provides a clue to the whereabouts of the family for whom he has been searching.

Vocabulary: strolling, intent, retorted, jaunty, self-deprecation, marionette, remnants, melody

Enrichment: Find a jar and go out on a warm evening with an older sibling or parent to catch some fireflies.  Research fireflies and make a short presentation to your classmates explaining why they appear to glow in the dark.


Chapter Five

  1. How was the real world different from stories according to Winnie?

  2. People acted unconcerned in stories while real life was fraught with danger.
  3. What does Winnie hope to find in the woods?

  4. She hopes to locate the source of the music from the night before.
  5. Why is Winnie surprised when she finally enters the woods?

  6. She had no idea that it would be such a nice place.
  7. Describe the boy that Winnie sees sitting up against the back of the tree in the woods.

  8. Descriptions will vary.
  9. How old are Winnie and the young man?

  10. Winnie is only ten going on eleven while the young man who first claims to be 104, later recants this and states that he is only seventeen.
  11. What does the young boy tell Winnie when she asks if she can drink from the spring?

  12. He informs Winnie that as the water comes from the ground it is very dirty and not healthy for her to drink.

Vocabulary: galling, disheartened, venture, consolingly, timidly, interlacing, splotches, self-absorbed, pruned, self-assurance, arching, spurt, irrelevantly, primly, bleak

Enrichment: Have you ever threatened to run away from home?  Do you think you would be afraid?  Explain.  What are some of the real dangers?  Where do you think you would go if you decided to run away from home?


Chapter Six

  1. Describe what is happening as the chapter begins.

  2. Winnie Foster is being carried off or kidnapped by Mae Tuck and her sons, Jesse and Miles.
  3. Who did the group encounter during their flight into the woods?

  4. They encountered the inquisitive man in the yellow suit who had been at Winnie's house the night before.
  5. What does Winnie plan to tell her grandmother when she returns home to her cottage?

  6. Winnie plans to tell her grandmother that the music in the wood was not made by elves but rather came from Mae Tuck's music box.
  7. What effect does the music box have on everyone?

  8. The music box calms Winnie who thinks that anyone who owns something as pretty as it must not be too disagreeable and in turn the entire group relaxes.

Vocabulary: bridle, troupe, burly, moustaches, perversely, goggled, abruptly, comprehend, dismay, implored, distractedly, faltered

Enrichment: Write a short biography about Natalie Babbitt making sure to mention other books she has authored.

Have Winnie keep a diary of events in the story.  Add one entry for every chapter in the story.


Chapter Seven

  1. What convinces Winnie that she is probably the first person to hear the Tuck's story?

  2. They gathered around her like children at their mother's knee, anxious and all trying to talk at once.
  3. When did the Tuck family first suspect that something was terribly wrong?

  4. Despite a number of strange things having happened already including: Jesse falling out of a tree unscathed, a bullet passing through the horse without causing any injury, a snake bite and poisonous toadstools which caused no ill effects; the Tuck family really first suspected something was wrong when they realized none of them was aging.
  5. Why did Miles' wife decide to leave him?

  6. She noticed that although Miles was in his forties, he didn't look any older than he had when she first met him.  She presumed that Miles must have made a pact with the devil and so she deserted him.
  7. Why had their cat died?

  8. Unlike the others, the cat had not quaffed its thirst at the spring and so died after a long but normal life.
  9. How did Angus Tuck test his theory about the spring?

  10. Much to the shock of his family, he shot himself through the heart with his own shotgun.  According to Mae, it scarcely left a mark.

Vocabulary: populated, gypsies, clearing, source, tension

Enrichment: What is a fountain of youth?  Research the explorer Ponce de Leon and the fountain of youth.  If given the opportunity would you drink the water?  Explain your actions.

If you had to remain one age forever, what age would you choose?  Defend your choice.

What methods do most doctors suggest for slowing down the aging process?  Interview some elderly people to learn their secrets to longevity.


Chapter Eight

  1. Why is Winnie reluctant initially to believe their story?

  2. Winnie has never believed in fairy tales or her grandmother's elves so at first she doesn't know what to make of their incredible story.
  3. Why does the author have the Tuck family speaking with such a peculiar dialect?

  4. Babbitt has them speak with a peculiar dialect to impress upon the reader that they are from a different time or era.  Their dialect also conveys a sense of naive innocence and honesty to the reader making them more likeable.
  5. Why is Winnie feeling so good about her decision to strike out on her own?

  6. Winnie is thoroughly enjoying her experience with the Tuck family and even considers staying in their world in the woods.
  7. Who has overheard the entire story of the spring yet goes unnoticed in the forest?

  8. The man in the yellow suit intrudes into the private world of the woods and the Tuck family.  He has overheard the entire story of the spring and its amazing powers.

Vocabulary: scornful, parson, shawl, elated, shimmered, receded

Enrichment: Pretend you are Winnie and write a letter to your parents describing your experience with the Tuck family.

Write an imaginary letter to the author, Natalie Babbitt, telling her what you thought of her book and asking her for advice on how to write.  Have another student in the class, who has researched Natalie Babbitt, answer the letters.


Chapter Nine

  1. What was the oft-repeated question?

  2. Winnie asked repeatedly if they had arrived at their destination--Tuck's home.
  3. What did the two boys do as soon as they arrived home?

  4. They jumped into the pond to cool off from the oppressive heat.
  5. What did Angus Tuck mean when he asked his wife, "Does she know?"

  6. Angus Tuck wanted to know if Winnie knew about the powers of the spring water.

Vocabulary: vivid, vanity, brink, hoarding, reservoirs, revived, colander, displaced

Enrichment: Make some puppets and scenery and then portray a scene from the book.

Conduct a mini debate in your own classroom as to whether or not the spring is a good or bad thing.


Chapter Ten

  1. What was the obvious difference that Winnie first noticed between her house and that of the Tuck's?

  2. Answers will vary depending on which parts of the house they choose to describe.  Winnie's home was always clean and tidy with nothing out of place while the Tuck home had a mouse living happily in the kitchen drawer and dishes stacked so high they were in danger of falling over.  As she continues through the other rooms in the house she discovers many things out of place or strewn about.  In essence, the Tuck house was in disarray unlike the Foster cottage.
  3. How does the author make the inanimate chairs appear almost human to us?

  4. Natalie Babbitt, the author, makes the inanimate objects appear animate by attributing to them humanlike characteristics.  For example, the rocking chair is elderly not old while the arm chairs are ignoring one another--something they are really not capable of doing.
  5. Why according to Mae, is it difficult for her and her sons to stay in one place too long?

  6. Should the Tucks stay too long, people might become suspicious when they notice that the family never appears to age.
  7. Mae isn't certain whether or not the effects of the spring water on her family are a blessing or a curse.  What do you think?  Explain.

  8. Initially many of the students will view it as a blessing.  The teacher could suggest that they might have to go to school forever if they were of school age when they drank the water.  This may convince at least some students that the spring might not be all blessings.

Vocabulary: pitiless, scoured, submission, fortress, indomitable, eddies, camphor, mirage, disarray, revolutionary, loft, cluttered, emerging

Enrichment: Write a short story of your own creation using Natalie Babbitt's techniques to make inanimate objects come to life.

Describe how you might react if someone in your community didn't appear to age.  What would you think if you had never read this story?


Chapter Eleven

  1. What did Winnie find strange about the Tuck family's dining habits?

  2. Their lifestyle was very informal and there appeared to be no set rules about dining.  Rather than sit around a dinner table they would sit in the parlor either on the floor or holding their plates in their laps.  They would not bother with napkins and licking your fingers was considered quite acceptable.
  3. What did Mae want Winnie to promise before she took her home?

  4. Mae Tuck wanted Winnie to promise that she would never tell anyone about the secret spring?
  5. Why had Winnie begun to think of the man in the yellow suit as a savior.

  6. Winnie thought that if anyone back home had asked about her disappearance, the man in the yellow suit would be able to tell them where she had gone.

Vocabulary: parlor, wobble, surge, supremely, savior, decisively

Enrichment: Devise various methods that the Tucks might employ to keep people from drinking the spring water.

Write an imaginary letter to Ms. Manners expressing concerns about the Tuck's dining habits.  Have one of your classmates write a response to your questions and concerns.


Chapter Twelve

  1. The author paints vivid descriptions of the sunset by comparing it to other things or objects.  Give a couple of examples.

  2. This gifted author paints incredible pictures by comparing the colours of sunset to a spilled paintbox and the sun itself to a soft red sliding egg yolk.
  3. Why is this a good time for fishing?

  4. It's a good time for fishing as numerous insects are moving across the surface of the water, tempting the fish below to come to the surface and feed.
  5. Explain how Tuck uses the stuck rowboat to explain his family's situation.

  6. Tuck uses the stuck rowboat as an analogy to his own family.  They have been taken off the wheel, the cycle of life, and are destined for all eternity to remain unchanged.  They would be denied the chance to experience a real and complete life.
  7. What does Angus Tuck claim he would do if he had the opportunity?

  8. Tuck claims he would "climb back on the wheel of life".  In essence, he would undo the drink from the spring and allow himself a natural death.  Students might be surprised to find that many elderly people accept death as a natural part of the cycle and many would not wish to repeat it even if they have lived fulfilling lives.  What is of more concern to them is that they remain healthy and independent.
  9. What concerns does Tuck express to Winnie at the end of his talk?

  10. He tells her that people would flock to the spring in droves if she revealed its presence to anyone and that it would be a tragedy having all those people live forever.
  11. Why did Miles call for his father to come back?

  12. Miles was very concerned as someone had stolen their horse.

Vocabulary: silty, dimpled, skittering, caroled, silhouettes, stern (boat), willy-nilly, blurted, rigid, anguish, hunched,lapped

Enrichment: Write a short scene from the section in chapter twelve where Tuck explains the situation to Winnie.  Perform the scene in front of your classmates.


Chapter Thirteen

  1. What happened to Tuck's horse?

  2. The horse was stolen by the man in the yellow suit.
  3. Why had the Foster family not gone to bed despite the late hour?

  4. They were distraught about Winnie's disappearance.
  5. What does the man tell Winnie's grandmother?

  6. The man tells the grandmother that he knows where Winnie is.
  7. Who might the man in the yellow suit be?

  8. Answers will vary.  Some students may feel the man is trying to be helpful or that he may be a detective or private investigator.  It might help the students to first discuss whether the man in the yellow suit is good or bad--protagonist or antagonist.  Have the students look for clues to justify their beliefs.

Enrichment: List any clues the author gives that can reveal the time period of this novel.

Students at this juncture in the story may realize that no modern items have been mentioned. Furthermore, the Tucks use a horse as their mode of transportation and the light glowing in the cottage window might be a type of oil lamp  Some readers may have noticed the author's use of archaic words such as parlor or the Tuck's very folksy type of language.  Their attire also suggests a different time period. For example, Angus Tuck wears a long nightshirt when sleeping.


Chapter Fourteen

  1. Why did Winnie experience difficulty sleeping?

  2. The cushions on the sofa were lumpy and smelled of old newspapers but worst of all she had gone to bed fully dressed, something she would never have done at home.
  3. Explain how Winnie could be exhausted by the conversation in the rowboat.

  4. The author is referring to an emotional and psychological aspect of exhaustion rather than a totally physical exhaustion. In this case it is the inability of Winnie to fully reconcile what Tuck had been attempting to explain to her.
  5. Why is Winnie having doubts as to whether or not the Tucks are actually criminals?

  6. Although they have kidnapped Winnie they are treating her very kindly and attempting to attend to her every need.  Teachers may wish to discuss how victims in hostage taking incidents sometimes become very emotionally attached to their kidnappers even siding with them over the police.
  7. What does Jesse suggest that Winnie Foster do and how does she react?

  8. Jesse suggests that Winnie should drink from the spring when she is seventeen so they could marry and travel around the world together.  Winnie tells Jesse that she will but her inner thoughts are in a turmoil and she really doesn't know what to believe.

Vocabulary: exhausted, flapjack, lingered, rumpled, adored, earnestly

Enrichment: Take a survey in your class to see how many students would want to drink from the spring.  Conduct a second survey to see at what age students would choose to drink from the spring.  Place your results on a graph and display on a bulletin board.


Chapter Fifteen

  1. Describe the opening scene in this chapter.

  2. The chapter opens in the spotless touch-me-not cottage on a moonlit night with the stranger in the yellow suit reassuring the Fosters that he knows the whereabouts of their missing daughter.
  3. What does the stranger demand in return for providing the Fosters with the location of their missing daughter Winnie?

  4. The man in the yellow suit informs the Fosters that he wants them to sign over their land, the woods, to him.   Students may wish to discuss what the stranger is likely to do with the woods.
  5. How do you think you would have reacted to the stranger's demands if you were the Fosters?

  6. Answers will vary.  Some students might insist that they would have called the police or even suspected that the man was in on the crime.  Others may have agreed to his demands, albeit reluctantly, as no piece of land is more valuable than human life.

Vocabulary: barbarian, crinkling, illiterates, constable, ordeal

Enrichment: Form a small group to discuss the stranger's tactics in dealing with the Foster family.  Make sure to touch on the ethics of this situation.


Chapter Sixteen

  1. How does the stranger justify his delay in reporting the crime to the constable?

  2. The stranger tells the constable that he had to follow the kidnappers, the Tucks, to find out where they intended to hide Winnie.  Consequently, he couldn't notify the authorities until he returned.
  3. Why does the constable express surprise when he learns that the Fosters have agreed to sell their land to the stranger?

  4. The constable tells the stranger that he is very surprised at this new development as the Fosters were one of the first families in the area and were quite proud of their property.
  5. How did the man in the yellow suit respond when the constable asked him what he intended to do with his newly acquired piece of property?

  6. The man in the yellow suit quickly changed the subject by offering to go ahead and keep a close watch on the young girl so that no harm would come to her.  He obviously felt very uncomfortable discussing the matter with the constable.

Vocabulary: wheezed, roust, courteous, cahoots, foothills, slumped, gallows, cantering, flanks, gander

Enrichment: As scientists (geneticists) continue to learn more about genes and what they do in the human body, they hope to exploit this knowledge to cure gene-related diseases including diabetes, heart disease and different forms of cancer.  Pretend you have been appointed to a government committee to oversee decisions about genetic research and cures.  With other committee members (classmates) draw up a list of guidelines that you believe scientists should follow while conducting their research.

What are genetically modified foods?  Conduct your own research at local foodmarkets and stores finding out if any of them sell genetically modified (GM) foods.  Make sure you talk to the produce manager.  Ask a geneticist about the dangers of genetically modified foods.

Conduct a debate on the pros and cons of either genetically modified foods or genetic cures.  
One example, of how information could be misused is allowing insurance companies to access the information.  The insurance companies might be reluctant to insure clients with defective genes.  Farmers are presently sowing genetically modified (GM) crops in many areas but many farmers claim they are forced to use them if they wish to remain competitive.  Some geneticists worry about crops that begin to grow out of control.


Chapter Seventeen

  1. What does Miles invite Winnie to do?

  2. He invites her to go fishing for their breakfast.
  3. Why was Winnie convinced that the Tucks would honor their promise to return her to her family?

  4. Winnie realized that the Tuck family, although peculiar, were caring and kind and could not possibly allow any harm to come to her.
  5. Why didn't Miles take his own son and daughter to the spring to drink?

  6. At first nobody realized the water from the spring had special powers.  Later, when they did, the Tuck family sensed it would create too many problems if people found out about it.  For example, Miles told Winnie that it would just be too strange if his children were almost the same age as him.
  7. How does Miles respond to Winnie's reflection that it would be nice if nothing ever had to die.

  8. He points out that the planet would very quickly become overloaded with living things.
  9. What is the clincher that convinced Winnie that the Tucks were right about wanting to keep the spring a secret?

  10. Slapping at a mosquito she suddenly realized how terrible it would be if these insects continued to multiply without any natural checks or balances.

Vocabulary: grated, peril, teeming, searing, persisted, blotter, barbed

Enrichment: How has Winnie become more mature as a result of her short stay with the Tuck family?  Explain.


Chapter Eighteen

  1. Why is Tuck concerned about taking Winnie home?

  2. Tuck is concerned as their horse had been stolen and it was a long walk to the Foster home.
  3. What wish does Winnie make for the first time since her capture?

  4. For a brief moment she wishes that she could stay on with the Tuck family in their little home by the pond.  She also contemplates Jesse's suggestion that she drink from the spring water when she turns seventeen.
  5. Who does Winnie think may be the nicest family member of all?

  6. There is something about Angus Tuck's sad creased face that causes her to think that Tuck may be the nicest family member of all.
  7. How does the knock on the door create suspense?

  8. The Tuck family lives in an isolated area of the wood where nobody ever comes to visit so a knock on the door would be quite a shock.  The reader also knows that no matter how nice the Tuck family is; they have committed a crime which could possibly draw attention to them.

Vocabulary: fondly, strewn, surveyed, poised, fleeting, alien

Enrichment: Place the Tuck family on trial for kidnapping.  Select both a prosecuting and defense attorney.  The teacher may act as the judge.  Appoint twelve jury members who will have to deliberate at the end of the trial to decide the fate of the Tuck family.  Both the prosecuting attorney and the defence attorney should file pretrial reports outlining what strategy they will use in the case.


Chapter Nineteen

  1. Why was Winnie suspicious of the man in the yellow suit?

  2. Despite his calm outer expression, Winnie sensed something unpleasant about him that made her suspicious.
  3. What connection is there between the Tuck family and the man in the yellow suit?

  4. The man in the yellow suit's grandmother had a dear friend who had married a man that never aged and who many suspected was involved with witches.  The more astute reader will soon realize that the man was Miles.
  5. What tune did the man in the yellow suit hear near the Foster cottage that convinced him that he had finally stumbled onto the "family that didn't grow older"?

  6. He recognized the tune that was playing on Mae Tuck's music box that day in the woods.  It was a tune that his mother had learned from Miles' children when their family had lived in his grandmother's house for a short while.
  7. What caused Mae's face to drain of all color?

  8. The man in the yellow suit revealed that he had overheard the Tucks telling Winnie the entire story of the spring.
  9. What did the man in the yellow suit claim he would do with the spring?

  10. He told the Tucks that he would make a fortune selling the spring water to a select group of people who deserved it and that the water would be very expensive.
  11. Describe the scene at the end of the chapter.

  12. Mae became very upset when the man in the yellow suit told her that Winnie would become his guinea pig after she had drunk the water.  She was so outraged that she swung the shotgun at the man hitting him over the head and knocking him unconscious.  The constable had just arrived to witness the entire scene unfolding.

Vocabulary: tarnation, mantel, hearth, soothing, devote, metaphysics, tension, grimly, petulance, rave, ghastly, stock

Enrichment: Pretend you are selling the spring water from the Tuck woods.  What would you tell people about your product and how would you convince them of its authenticity?

If Winnie had the use of a cellphone to call her parents, what might she say?  Write a one-sided telephone conversation from Winnie's perspective as she calls home.  Would she reveal the Tuck secret?

Why does Natalie Babbitt never give the man in the yellow suit a name?  Discuss.


Chapter Twenty

  1. What reason did Mae give for hitting the man?

  2. Mae told the constable that the man was taking Winnie against her will.
  3. Why might Tuck be envious of the man lying on the ground?

  4. He realized that the man might die as he was part of the circle or cycle of life and Tuck longed for this natural process of life and death which he could never experience.
  5. What did the constable warn would happen if the man succumbed to his injuries?

  6. He warned the Tuck family that Mae would have to face the gallows if the man in the yellow suit died.
  7. What serious dilemma will occur if Mae Tuck is either placed in jail or hanged?

  8. If placed in jail, people will soon discover that she does not age.  If they attempt to hang her, they will discover that she can't die.  In essence, their secret will be uncovered.

Vocabulary: sprawled, resentfully, unflinchingly, entranced, envious, rump, coarse

Enrichment: Choose one of the characters in the book and do a character sketch.  Make sure to include physical, emotional and personal characteristics of the individual in your description.


Chapter Twenty-One

  1. Why did Winnie like her rocking chair despite the fact she had outgrown it?

  2. Winnie found that rocking in the chair had a soothing effect and this night in particular she needed to soothe her soul.
  3. What defence did the Fosters offer for Winnie when they learn that she went to the Tuck house of her own volition?

  4. They claimed they had heard the elves and that they must have bewitched the little girl.
  5. What did the Fosters sense shortly after they had put Winnie to bed?

  6. They sensed that some part of her had slipped away-- in essence that she had changed or matured.
  7. Despite their horror at recent events, what secret hope does Winnie's family foster?

  8. Despite their horror at the man's precarious position, they harbour a secret hope that the man will die and their woods will revert to them.
  9. Why does Winnie accept that the man in the yellow suit must die?

  10. She feels that if the story about the spring's power is true, having the man die may be the only way to ensure its secret stays intact.

Vocabulary: babbling, murmurs, reliably, insistent, acrid

Enrichment: Pretend you are Winnie and retell the story from your point of view.  From Winnie's point of view what things can you tell the reader that they wouldn't have found in the novel?  You may wish to work on this project with a friend.  Present your findings to the rest of the class.


Chapter Twenty-Two

  1. What affect did the warm metal bars of the fence have on Winnie's thoughts?

  2. The fence caused Winnie to think about Mae Tuck who was behind another set of bars in the new jailhouse.
  3. How does the grandmother react when Winnie tells her that she would like to give the toad a drink of water?

  4. She appears disgusted with the toad and attempts to discourage Winnie by telling her that toads don't actually drink water.
  5. Who was Winnie surprised to see on the other side of the fence?

  6. She was amazed to see Jesse on the other side of the fence.
  7. Outline Miles' plan?

  8. Miles planned to use his carpentry skills to remove the window frame from the jail allowing his mother to make good her escape.
  9. Why does Jesse give to Winnie?

  10. He gives her a bottle of spring water and asks her to promise that she will drink it when she turns seventeen.
  11. How does Winnie offer to help or in her own words, make a difference?

  12. She offers to take Ma Tuck's place in the cell so that the constable won't notice anything is awry until the morning after the escape.  This would give the Tuck family ample time to make good their escape.

Vocabulary: exertion, perspiration, gingerly, parched, mingled, paled, anxious

Enrichment: Why do you think people enjoy reading fantasy even though they realize it isn't actually true?  Research the fantasy genre including fairy tales and discuss why it may be so popular with young people.


Chapter Twenty-Three

  1. What does Winnie do with Jesse's present?

  2. She places the bottle of spring water in her bureau drawer.
  3. Why is Winnie so restless?

  4. She knows that in three hours time, at midnight, she must escape from her home to take Mae Tuck's place in the jail.
  5. What is Winnie beginning to think is the real truth about the Tuck family?

  6. Winnie is beginning to have doubts about the authenticity of their story about the spring and thinks they may just be crazy.
  7. Why did Winnie jerk awake sometime later in the night?

  8. She was afraid that midnight had passed and that she had missed her rendezvous at the jail.

Vocabulary: ponderous, remorseless, plaintive, lapse, gentility, prostrate, gratitude, poised, notch

Enrichment: Peruse your local newspaper to see if it contains book reviews.  Submit your own book review to the local newspaper but have your teacher edit it first.

The author describes the sweet smell of rain.  Conduct some research about the sense of smell.  More specifically investigate if it is possible to smell rain.
We don't really smell the rain.  The moisture in the air heightens our awareness of the smells and scents from the plants in the immediate surroundings.

What are Roman numerals?  Write the numbers from one to twelve in Roman numerals.  Next examine a clock or watch which has Roman numerals on its face.  Can you explain the unusual or odd thing that you notice?
Some students will notice that the number four on many watches is written as IIII rather than IV.


Chapter Twenty-Four

  1. What realization did Winnie come to as she left the house?

  2. It dawned on her that she could slip out of the house any night she chose.
  3. Who was waiting for her at the gate?

  4. Jesse was waiting for her at the gate.
  5. What object, shaped like an upside down L, was located at the back of the jailhouse?

  6. It was the gallows where Mae was scheduled to be hanged.
  7. Locate the origin of the lines: "Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage".

  8. The complete poem entitled To Althea From Prison was written by Richard Lovelace while he was imprisoned in England during the 1640's.  The quote is actually taken from the first two lines of the fourth verse and reads as follows:

    Stone walls doe not a prison make,
    Nor iron bars a cage;
    Mindes innocent and quiet take
    That for an hermitage;
    If I have freedome in my love,
    And in my soule am free,
    Angels alone that sore above
    Enjoy such liberty.

  9. Why does Miles pour oil onto the nails?

  10. He wants to lessen the screeching sound as he pries the nails from the wood so as not to alert the constable.
  11. What is the significance of Jesse's one word, remember?

  12. He is reminding Winnie to drink from the bottle of spring water on her seventeenth birthday.

Vocabulary: accusations, detached, gloom, prying, ebbed, protruding, flailing, exultant

Enrichment: Write a poem about one of the characters or even one about a woods with a magical spring.  Put the poetry to music and sing it to the class with some of your classmates.

Create a collage that you feel is representative of the story.  Include characters and concepts from the novel.


Chapter Twenty-Five

  1. Explain what happened soon after Winnie made herself comfortable on the cot?

  2. The constable entered the cell to let down a shutter over the window effectively keeping the rain out.  Fortunately for the Tucks, he suspected nothing.
  3. How did the constable react when he discovered what had happened?

  4. Initially there was a look of comical astonishment on his face although shortly after the look turned to anger.
  5. Why did Winnie pour the bottle of water over the toad?

  6. She wanted to protect the toad from the dog-- protect it forever.

Vocabulary: arc, pod, host, departure, grateful, perversely, constricted, apprehension, comical, accomplice, custody, wistful, staunchly, prissy, gait, revulsion, loped

Enrichment: Give a book talk about Tuck Everlasting to some of your classmates or students in another class.  Don't reveal too many details from the book.



  1. What evidence is there that a great deal of time has passed since the Tuck family made their last visit?

  2. The village has grown much larger and there are many paved streets and even automobiles.
  3. What happened to the Foster home?

  4. The Foster home and woods had been destroyed in a fire during an electrical storm.
  5. How does Tuck react to the inscription on the tombstone?

  6. He is saddened yet at the same time happy as he feels that Winnie's decision not to drink the water was probably the right one.

Vocabulary: blacktopped, accustomed, lounged, proper, catholic, linoleum, wrought-iron, imposing

Enrichment: What is an epilogue?  What purpose does it serve?


Copyright 2001

Created by:
Brian Thornton, Capo Creations, Box 1411, Haileybury, Ontario, CANADA POJ 1KO

Not to be used or copied in any manner without specific written consent of the publisher All Rights Reserved