Name the story

Another story that I read as a child has popped into my head, and I can’t seem to find it. I seem to recall that it was a short story in a collection of stories about child geniuses, or some such (fiction, not true stories).

The story is about a little girl (Melissa? Melinda?) who never ages; the story is basically a doctor or someone in a position of authority (the “kindly” sort) who she tells her story to, of how she became immortal (and ageless), and how she has lived, being put in foster homes, eventually escaping, trying to avoid notice and being “taken care of” by adults who are a great deal (centuries?) younger than her.

I would like to reread the whole book, if I can find it, and would love it if someone remembers what I’m talking about.


There is a wonderful story called “Child of All Ages,” by P.J. Plauger, about a little girl named Melissa who never ages. It has appeared in many science fiction anthologies.

thanks! That sounds like it, I’ll see what I can find.


I second Child Of All Ages. Nonspoiler details-

Somebody tries to test her by asking an unobtrusive question about one of the kings of England. She sees the test and answers that such events hadn’t really affected most people and that even in the present she’d lived a few miles away from the Watts riots without seeing or hearing anything.

She takes excellent care of her teeth. She knows that if she loses them, they’ll grow back. But, it takes time and is uncomfortable.

The family she’s currently staying with has a grandfather who hopes to unravel her secret and use it to gain immortality.

And if you’re into graphic novels, check out Hooky, starring Spider-Man and a surprisingly mature 12 year-old.

By Kirby’s cigar! When I hear about a Spider-Man story called “Hooky” it shoul involve not some kid ditching school, but many people with hooks. Better still, it should involve one person (preferably horribly mutated in some bizarre accident) with many, many hooks.