Biography of Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt was born and grew up in Ohio, where she was raised by artist parents. She attended Smith College and studied to be an illustrator specializing in children's books. She married a classmate, Samuel Fisher Babbitt, and had three children (Christopher [born in 1956], Tom [1958], and Lucy [1960]) with him.

Samuel wrote a children's book entitled The Forty-Ninth Magician (published by Pantheon, 1966), and Natalie illustrated it. Shortly after, however, Samuel was appointed the head of Kirkland College, which left him little time for the artistic and literary ventures that he and Natalie had shared. Natalie decided to try writing children's books as well as illustrating them. Her first two books, Dick Foote and the Shark and Phoebe's Revolt, were written in rhyming verse, and she later moved to writing in prose.

Her most famous book, Tuck Everlasting, was inspired by an experience with her young daughter. Her daughter woke up crying and saying that she was afraid of dying, and Babbitt wanted to convince her that death is a natural thing experienced by everyone.

Babbitt's books received numerous awards, including the inaugural E. B. White Award for achievement in children’s literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2013, and a Newbery Honor in 1971.

She lived for much of the latter half of her life in Providence, Rhode Island, and died from lung cancer in 2012.

Study Guides on Works by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting is a classic tale about a family that does not age and is immune to injury and illness, and one girl who chooses to fiercely protect their secret.

Natalie Babbitt's inspiration for writing this book came from an experience with...