Saturday Schoolyard is a meme where I review books that were first introduced to me during my younger schooldays.
The name for the meme comes from the elementary school weekend activity where April and I first met and became friends.
I vaguely recall the first time I read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. More specifically, I recall when it was being read to me. It was in the first grade, and it was by our student teacher at the time. I remember how every day, at the same time, my classmates and I would gather around in a cluster circle for our teacher to sit in front of us and read the book of the month. And while I don’t remember some of the other books that we were read, I do remember Charlotte’s Web, and that is one of the many reasons I choose to re-read it for Saturday Schoolyard.
For those who have never read Charlotte’s Web before or who may not remember, it is the story of how a little girl named Fern helps save a pig named Wilber from being slaughtered with a little help from a spider named Charlotte. It is the story of friendship, of learning to deal with hardships, and of learning to watch for the magic in the most simplistic of things. It is not just a children’s story because it is a story that can be enjoyed by any age, and that can still teach some valuable lessons even to the oldest of old.
What I love most about Charlotte’s Web is the creative storytelling. On the surface, you have a girl, a pig, and a spider. Already there is an unusual set up which is captivating for an audience and that helps keep things interesting. As a reader, I’m always excited to see what happens to each of the characters, and what kinds of different adventures they find themselves in. Watching their friendships grow and develop is one of my favorite parts of the story. The lessons which are intertwined within the pages about friendship and looking beyond the surface of things have always seemed important to me even as a young age. And for such a short story, E.B. White sure knows how to pack it full!
Speaking of packing it full, one of the way in which E.B. White does this is with his words. He has such a way with her words that they pull at the emotional core of a situation. One of my favorite quotes from the book has always been:
“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
I truly believe that friendships can transform lives. Friends have a way of becoming a second family, or in some circumstances, the only family you need. They weave their way around your heart, go through adventures with you, and help you when you are down. They become your shoulder to cry on, your reason to smile and in many cases the reason you survive in this crazy rollercoaster called life. That is what Charlotte became to Wilber and it is one of the many reasons why their friendship and their story have really stood the test of time.
Have you read Charlotte’s Web? What are your thoughts about it?
Feel free to drop me a line in the comments!