Saturday Schoolyard: Charlotte’s Web | E.B. White | Book Review

Saturday Schoolyard
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.

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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.

Charlotte's Web Cover

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.”

Charlotte's Web Gif

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!

Comments

  1. I’m sorry to say that I’ve never read Charlotte’s Web. I’ve seen the movie, of course, and I’ve read other EB White books, but not this one. This story is quite sad, and I never cared much for stories about animals. But I know so many people who were touched by this.

    And although I wouldn’t use the phrase “just a children’s book” because it makes me feel like children’s books are never as good as adult books, I do know what you mean, I think. there are some books that speak to people of all ages, which is not an easy thing to do.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted..Book Haul #48My Profile

  2. Sharon Forbes says:

    I read Charlotte’s Web so many times as a little girl, that the copy of the book I read from became dog-eared and just plain worn from reading it so much! I love that story, and I remember the myriad of emotions I experienced when I read it- I felt happy when Fern got to keep the piglet(of course Wilbur) that she wanted. I was delighted to hear all of the animals “talking” amongst themselves in the barnyard. I was thrilled and so happy inside that Charlotte the spider championed and saved Wilbur so many times, true friendship there. I was disgusted, yet I somewhat admired Templeton the rat for his cunning ways. All in all, I just loved to curl up with this book, knowing that I was going to have several hours of pure enjoyment ahead of me. Reading has always been that way for me.

  3. Oh, I’m just like you. The first time, this book was read to me by my 4th grade teacher. She was an awesome reader — I fell in love with her because of that book. Such wonderful memories….
    Annette recently posted..Stacking the Shelves – Another Trip Through the Library ShelvesMy Profile

  4. I totally wanted to do a series like this, but I’m so bad at making time because I am not a boss like you. Anyway, I love that you have one, and the name is adorbs yo.

    I remember really liking this, even though I don’t like pigs or spiders, which good job E.B. White.

    “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.” <- THIS. Life without friends was lonely and I probably had some depression issues. I don't know what I would do without my true friends.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted..Review: Red by Alison CherryMy Profile

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