Can children’s books help children embracing death as a part of life? The case of Tuck Everlasting (1975)

Tekiner H.

Turkish Journal of Bioethics, vol.6, no.2, pp.82-84, 2019 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Book Review
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/tjob.2019.39200
  • Title of Journal : Turkish Journal of Bioethics
  • Page Numbers: pp.82-84


With effect sizes ranging from small to moderate, bibliotherapy has positive outcomes with respect to children’s behavioral problems; and carefully selected children’s books may be useful in helping children embrace death as part of life. From Aesop’s Fables to Anderson’s tales, or Doris Buchanan Smith’s A Taste of Blackberries (1973) to Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls (2011), numerous literary works give reference to death, dying, and bereavement. One of the best examples in children’s literature of modern times is found in the fantasy novel Tuck Everlasting (1975), written by the American author Natalie Babbitt (1932–2016), which has sold more than five million copies and was also adapted into two feature films and a musical. Exploring themes of immortality, life, and death, Tuck Everlasting is very likely to aid children in conceptualizing the meaning of death. Considering the fact that the book has been translated into many major languages of the world, it is widely accessible for young school children as well.