Author Natalie Babbitt has died at the age of 84, the Associated Press reports. Babbitt made generations of children weep with her seminal young adult novel, Tuck Everlasting, an astute tale about a a family that lives forever that deals frankly with the concept of death. In a 2015 interview, upon the book’s 40th anniversary, Babbitt told NPR that she undertook the project after talking with her young daughter about dying. “And it seemed to me that that was the kind of thing you could be scared of for the rest of your life,” Babbitt explained. “And so I wanted to make sure that she would understand what it was more. And it seemed to me that I could write a story about how it’s something that everybody has to do and it’s not a bad thing.” Tuck Everlasting was adapted into feature films in both 1981 and 2002, the latter of which starred Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel. Earlier this year a musical version opened on Broadway.
Babbitt, who grew up in Ohio, began her career in children’s literature illustrating a book written by her husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt. Her bibliography includes Knee-Knock Rise, The Search For Delicious, and The Eyes Of The Amaryllis.