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Charlotte's Web

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  954,987 Ratings  ·  11,438 Reviews
Fern loves a little pig named Wilbur and Wilbur's dear friend, Charlotte A Cavatica, a large grey spider who lived with Wilbur in the barn. With the help of Templeton the rat, who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, and a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saved the life of Wilbur.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 28th 1993 by Penguin Books, Limited (UK) (first published 1952)
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Caitlyn I'd recommend The Trumpet of the Swan, also by E.B. White. It also includes animals, to be specific, swans.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
Aug 01, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't give a fig if it is a kid's book, Charlotte's Web is one of the most well-crafted stories ever written. This classic children's tale deserves 5 stars for story craft and language usage alone! (Read your Strunk & White to understand this man's talents in that regard.) The fact that it's a heart-warmer/wrencher clinches it. Never was I made to love pigs and spiders so much in my life. Charlotte's Web will always rank high amongst my favorites. But why, for the love of god, did they mak ...more
Richard
I have been familiar with the story for most of my life, but never read it until now.

Wilbur the pig is born a runt, and the farmer decides he must face the axe. Kind-hearted little Fern intercedes and saves him. She cares for the undersized pig, who later goes to a nearby farm. Wilbur's life is nearly idyllic until he discovers the fate that has been woven for him: he will likely be the next Christmas ham. Horrified, he looks desperately for a door of escape. His pleas for help are overhead by a
...more
Melki
". . . this lovely world, these precious days . . ."
Charlotte, a spider


I always get in the mood for this book when county fair season rolls around. Ah, the midway with it's dizzying rides and scary carny folk. The agriculture buildings featuring prize-winning giant produce and lovingly crafted quilts. And the yummy scents of frying dough competing with the much earthier smells emanating from the livestock tents.

It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired h
...more
David bernardy
Nov 25, 2007 David bernardy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up without reading this book. For some, that seems to be unimaginable. I can maybe understand why. My wife and I are reading it now, or I should say, I am reading it aloud before bed, and it's really wonderful. I could totally see why it would be a kind of life-formative book. I was reading a passage last night and laughing at it (there is so much in here that is really funny), and it made me wonder about the level of the humor. That is, would the kid me have thought this was funny or is ...more
Lynda
TL
Apr 02, 2015 TL rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to TL by: don't remember, probly from elementary school librarian
Shelves: re-reading






No words I can say but this book is magical and beautiful and everyone should read it... a truly wonderful tale :) <3

Deanna
Jul 31, 2015 Deanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
One of my favorite childhood memories is of reading this book with my mother. I remember how much I giggled at some of the funny situations and cried especially when we read it the first few times. Sobbing into my pillow with my mom rubbing my back I wondered why Charlotte had to die. My mom patiently explaining the gift Charlotte left for Wilbur. Even now I feel a bit of a lump in my throat. It was treasures like this that started my love of books and reading.

I loved it so much I don't know ho
...more
Stephanie
Sep 05, 2007 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who failed English, but love books
Within 3 minutes of reviewing its Top 100 Novels Written in English List, I knew The Modern Library was irrelevant. That's because it failed to include CHARLOTTE'S WEB. I mean, I realize that children's literature is considered a joke by most intellectuals, but get serious. Anybody who reads this story and fails to recognize its greatness doesn't really like books, in my opinion.

Not only does CHARLOTTE'S WEB feature one of the most ingenious plots in all of literature, its prose is breathtaking.
...more
Shayantani Das
Jan 28, 2012 Shayantani Das rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It may sound weird but this is the first time I am reading this book. I don’t know how I missed out on it when I was a kid. Maybe it was the Famous 5 or Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. Anyway, if I had read it as a kid I might have mustered some sympathy for Wilbur. Right now though, I am just mad. Such a whinny and annoying crybaby. Met enough people like him in real life. Poor Charlotte!

My personnel bitchy nature aside, this book was amazing. A quick read, but it makes an impact. Beautiful lessons
...more
Natalie Monroe
How I feel about spiders when I read Charlotte's Web:





How I feel about spiders when I see one in my house:



But I really do love this book. Charlotte A. Cavatica, you will live on my heart forever.
Mark Lawrence
Mar 13, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'pologies to anybody following my reviews in hope of insights into epic fantasy novels - I get through more kids' stuff reading to my little girl (who is too disabled to do it for herself).

Charlotte's Web is a book I've been aware of for nearly 40 years but somehow managed to avoid reading when I was little. We picked it up at the hospice last week and read the first half, then had to buy a copy at Waterstones yesterday to finish it off (59 years in print and it's still selling for 6.99 in pape
...more
Ji
I read this book three times and my opinion of the book has changed each time. The importance of this? Just think how complex and well written a book is if you can take different meanings from a novel at different stages of your life.

Here is a mini recap of what I thought each time I read it...

4th Grade: Poor piggy! I'm glad he found a nice spider friend. I'm so sad that Charlotte died at the end! But I still hate spiders.

8th Grade: I guess it is a really good outlook on growing up... I didn't
...more
Ash
I could not stop myself from crying. I literally had tears in my eyes after I finished reading it. Charlotte was such a sweetheart. And Wilbur's innocence made him look cuter.
These lines made me breakdown : "She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."
One of the best stories of friendship I have ever read.

Updated:09/28/2012

I watched the movie today and it is one of the best movies ever made. I cried like a ba
...more
Theresa
Feb 03, 2016 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Charlotte's Web" is SOME BOOK! A childhood favorite of mine. Brings back wonderful memories for me. A classic! :)
Wanda
***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature***

I distinctly remember my grade one teacher, Doris Wright, reading Charlotte’s Web to us, a chapter or two per day. I suspect there was some snivelling when we reached the end of the tale.
Boy, could I identify with the main human character, Fern. I grew up on a small farm like the ones in the book (without the work horses—we used tractors during my childhood) and it was primarily a hog farm. I was very familiar with how sweet baby pigs are. In
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 12, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501
Shelves: 501, childrens, fantasy
One of the best books written for children that I've read so far this year.

It has full of lessons that anyone including adults can learn from or at least be reminded of. It has many interesting characters that anyone can relate to. It's about life - the young pig Wilbur learning his life important lessons from the caring spider Charlotte. It's about friendship - Fern taking care of runt Wilbur, Charlotte weaving for Wilbur, rat doing favors for Wilbur and Charlotte, etc. Most importantly, it's a
...more
Luffy
Sep 05, 2015 Luffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte's Web is a tender children's story with sweet insights about life, growing up, and mortality. It's a privilege to open a book and hear the timber of a gifted writer, whose voice was so simple that one wonders why this book was not hatched decades earlier. The author's voice remains unique enough to be distinctive from the crowds of pretenders that have succeeded him. I think what I've done in my review is describe a classic. Make no mistake, a classic Charlotte's Web is. The fact that ...more
Carol
Oct 04, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, childrens
As I now join the million's of readers who have enjoyed this great book, I realize it truly is a book for ALL ages. Loved every minute of it!
Susanna
Nov 14, 2008 Susanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my desperation for a good night's sleep, I jettisoned my Nguigi wa Thiong'o novel (as Em says "is there any great African literature that's not about war or hunger or political corruption?") and, as after Mom's going, delved into some children's books. This was all I remembered it being when I read it at 8 and more.

I can't say more than Eudora Welty did:
"What the book is about is friendship on earth, affection and protection, adventure and miracle, life and death, trust and treachery, pleasur
...more
midnightfaerie
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White is a classic piece of children's literature I've only recently revisited. My five year-old son and I started reading it together and I was surprised how in to it he was, even though his attention span lagged at some spots such as the extensive descriptives White likes to use. They paint a colorful picture, but there were too many words my son didn't know at once, so it was hard for him to pay attention enough during these parts to expand his vocabulary. Other than t ...more
Mandy Blair Crider
What a beloved classic! One of my favorites, such a magical story of love and acceptance based on the inside. Charlotte and Wilbur make for an incredible cast along with the other zany characters. Great children's book.
Michael
Apr 06, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lis-565
Annotation:
A young pig's life is saved by a Charlotte, a wise spider. Through Charlotte, the pig learns important lessons about friendship and loss.

Review:

Perhaps the most striking aspect of E.B. White's 1952 classic Charlotte's Web is abundance of endearing, clearly-drawn characters. White's tale of friendship, altruism and loss rings very true because of how quickly the reader comes to care for and identify with the characters. Despite being written for children, each character has charming an
...more
Kristine
{spoilers ahead, but on the other hand, if you've seen the Disney movie, you should be ok}

FYI this review will NOT do this book justice. Maybe one day I'll spend a year writing a critical analysis titled "Why I Love Children's Literature" and use this book as its topic. Because it's really that good. I know some people don't get kid's books. But I have really found there to be no lack of word crafting, prose, strong characterization and voice, complexity of plot and presentation, or meaning in c
...more
Joey
Lo and behold, my young student lent me – although I abhor to do so- this in tatters considering that I am now finicky about book covers. I prefer pristine books to crispy ones since I would love to build my own private library someday where in I would definitely hole up reading the books I would like to keep up with. (Stargazing) Yippie! I can’t wait for it.

I rarely get a chance to meet a young student whose taste for books is paralleled with mine. It just so happened that my student came up wi
...more
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
Short, sweet and full of impact.

Reaction after finishing the book:



My heart broke for Charlotte A.Cavatica. It's still in smithereens, in fact.

I can only say that this is such a touching story that evolves around friendships and loyalty. I personally find Wilbur annoying though, and most of the times I wanted to punch him in the snout. What a big, whiny baby he was! Ugh. I thought he'd be more useful in the book but he still grates my nerve anyway.

Put that aside though and this book is indeed mea
...more
Sean Kennedy
Feb 26, 2016 Sean Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Contains perhaps one of the saddest passages in literature:

Good-bye!" she whispered. Then she summoned all her strength and waved one of her front legs at him.

She never moved again. Next day, as the Ferris wheel was being taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into vans and the entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in their trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. The infield was littered wi
...more
Helen
Mar 13, 2012 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kids
It's always difficult for me to try and pick a favorite book from my childhood, but I love this story so much that, if I had to choose, I think it would be a front runner. It's just such a beautiful story and so elegantly written. I open the book occasionally to random pages and just start reading. Without exception, I always find something on the page to make me smile, or laugh, or cry. This is the kind of book you hug to your chest. If your older now and have never read this, don't hesitate an ...more
Naomi Sarah
I hate spiders.
I hate pigs.
I hate stories where animals talk.
I hate stories centered around animals.

But not always, apparently, because...

I LOVED this!!!! Seriously. A book can not be more charming! I feel like sending a copy to Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. She has a great literary namesake. :-P
Pradnya K.
Oct 04, 2015 Pradnya K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, classic, childrens
What a lovely book it is! If they write things like that for children who'd want to grow up really? The day I saw the cover of this book I knew I'm going to read it. There's this anecdote about E B White that he had a pet spider which he always observed and also carried her with him when he travelled. That spider was an inspiration behind this book.

The book is a story of a friendship of a pig and a spider and taking reader to their world, a barn where seasons change and curious things happen. I
...more
Apokripos
Apr 30, 2011 Apokripos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids at ♥!
Recommended to Apokripos by: the "Voice"
Web of Friendship
(A Book Review of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web)


My first encounter with E.B. White is through this slim book called The Elements of Style, written in part by his former English professor William Strunk Jr., and a tiny thing though it is, nonetheless it packs up a lot of amusing, informative and useful instruction in the elementary usage of grammar and composition. If you’re not familiar yet with the book well checking this one out is worth your while, Gentle Reader.

E.B. White li
...more
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Elwyn Brooks White was a leading American essayist, author, humorist, poet and literary stylist and author of such beloved children's classics as Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan. He graduated from Cornell University in 1921 and, five or six years later, joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine. He authored over seventeen books of prose and poetry and was elected to t ...more
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“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.” 6928 likes
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” 1106 likes
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