I saw this movie ages ago and remembered very little beyond the general premise, so when I had the opportunity to get the book, I was excited to read it.
Natalie Babbitt’s story focuses first on Winnie Foster, a young girl who feels trapped in her own life because she isn’t allowed outside her yard. One day she finally works up the nerve to go out into the first, where she meets the Tuck family, who has a secret that must be protected at all costs. Winnie finds herself forced to choose where her loyalty lies, does she honor her own parents, or do what she can to save and protect her new friends?
In the movie, I remember the story taking place over a time span longer than one day. I also remember Winnie being older than 10. And while, for a children’s book, it’s an easy read and relatable, I think this is one of the instances where I prefer the movie to the book (I’d have to watch the movie again to be sure), simply because the movie, if memory serves, expounded more on the story line.
Babbitt seems more to present several questions for readers to ponder: the whole question of eternal life, whether it’s ok to do harm to someone who intends to do harm to you, or whose actions may bring more harm than good.
It’s a short, fast read that moves in one signal line, but for Babbitt’s purposes (laid out in a Q and A at the end of the book), the singular, linear progression works.
All in all, I have to remind myself that it is, in fact, a children’s book. While something more modern might have more subplots and themes to it, it’s a simple read that prompts deep thoughts. And that’s one of the best kinds of reads.