Samuel F. Babbitt; Courtesy of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
October 31, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT

Natalie Babbitt, the author of beloved children’s novel Tuck Everlasting, died on Monday. She was 84 years old.

Babbitt’s husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt, tells the Associated Press that she passed away at their home in Hamden, Connecticut. She’d recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Tuck Everlasting, which explores the idea of immortality, was first published in 1975 to much acclaim, and continues to rank high on lists of best books for children. It was adapted into a movie twice — in 1981 and again in 2002 starring Gilmore Girls actress Alexis Bledel as the heroine, Winnie. The story was more recently adapted into a Broadway musical which opened earlier this year.

Babbitt wrote and illustrated more than two dozen books in her lifetime. Her second children’s novel, Knee-Knock Rise, was awarded a Newbery Honor in 1971.

She is survived by her three grown children and three grandchildren.

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