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Charlotte's Web

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  666,196 ratings  ·  8,936 reviews
"I don't want to die!
Save me, somebody!
Save me!"


The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs.

(From Puffin Books)

An affectionate pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing o...more
Paperback, Full Color Edition, 192 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by HarperCollinsPublishers (first published 1952)
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Community Reviews

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Jason Koivu
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
Stephanie
Sep 05, 2007 Stephanie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
David bernardy
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
Shayantani Das
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
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
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 12, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Susanna
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
Michael
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
Helen
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
jzhunagev
Apr 30, 2011 jzhunagev rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids at ♥!
Recommended to jzhunagev 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 lik...more
Mark Lawrence
'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 pap...more
Beth F.
This was the very first book that ever made me cry. I cried for days after finishing this one. I've always meant to re-read it but I'm afraid it will make me cry all over again (some things never change, even with age).
Cassandra
This bedtime re-reading with the little ones, as well as gaining an extra star in my rating, reminded me why I love this book, with all its wise innocence and profound earthy charm. This is not the cheerful, humorous talking-animals fable it presents itself as. Without being heavy-handed on the moral-of-the-story (as so many well-meaning children's authors tend to) Mr. White has delivered, modestly and graciously, a loving homage to this beautiful, messy, miracle we call life--from the migrating...more
Susan
A beautiful book. I think one of my favorite things about it (and probably one of my favorite things when I was a kid reading it) is that it doesn't talk down to the reader while providing a whole lot of interesting information. Let's face it, you learn a lot about spiders! I could never convince myself that any of them were as cool as Charlotte, but it was nice to know why they did what they did. The feelings were also very recognizable, even if life on a farm was not, starting with Fern's love...more
L12_sarah
What makes this book so good is its handling of deep issues like finding one's purpose in life, fitting in/sticking out (i.e. conformity vs. individuality), friendship, acting selflessly, and death in a way that makes them appropriate and understandable for children. White uses characterization effectively to create characters that the reader can not only picture clearly, but also relate to and empathize with. This is no small feat when the main character is a pig! Finally, the amount of realist...more
Amalie
I watched the movie and I just had to read it! A children's book which has much to offer to older teen and adult readers.

I loved this book! Charlotte's Web is an animal fable where we get to think which world will prevail—the fantasy world in which animals talk, or the human world in which animals must die to provide for people's needs? White brings its moral indirectly: friendship, heroism, constancy, and death, he does not spell them out. The setting may look fantastic but it's perfectly natu...more
Sylvia
Kelar dalam beberapa jam! What a wonderful story! Kenapa juga nggak baca dari dulu? Karena gw pikir ini cerita anak-anak *emang iya sih* dan gak seru. Tapi ternyata... uhuu seru banget, dan mengharukan!

Persahabatan antara Wilbur si babi dan Charlotte si laba-laba di sebuah peternakan. Wilbur yang takut disembelih dan dijadikan daging asap, menjadi panik ketika omongan diantara hewan mulai santer bahwa dia akan dipotong di malam natal.

Charlotte, teman sejatinya, berjanji bahwa dia akan membantuny...more
lAuRa
Okay I have a lot to say about this book! I couldn't have read this at a more perfect time in my life. Charlotte's Web to me is a story about true friendship, standing up for those and what you believe in, and heroes. Charlotte was obviously the main hero because she was so brave, humble, and kind to take on the act of saving Wilbur's life. She asked for NOTHING in return and that is what a true friend is. When she died Wilbur wanted to take her children and she knew they would be safe with him...more
J.R.
I read Charlotte's Web as a child, and loved it. Recently I had the pleasure of rereading it with my daughter, taking on a chapter a day. The descriptive phrases E.B. White uses while helping us to fall in love with the characters and their world are wonderful.

I will admit I was concerned reading some parts of the story to a 4 year old, whether it be the "circle of life" comments by Charlotte or the fear of Wilbur being killed. However, I took it slow, answered questions when needed and had no...more
Jessica
Okay, seriously: you see a spider web that says, "some pig" and you think, "Wow! That's some pig all right!" Um. Nooooo. You think, "HOLY CRAP, THE SPIDER CAN WRITE!"

But put that aside, folks, and just enjoy this charming story of a young, innocent pig being saved from the frying pan by his clever spider friend. This is a tender and funny look at loyalty, friendship, and the realities of farm life.

I saw the cartoon movie many times as I kid, but had never read the book, and I was pleased by how...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.
Ariel
So, this is definitely one of my appreciate-vs-like situations (see my video about this dilemma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4rYwx...).

On the one hand I really thought that this book was brilliant: the characters are so rich, the themes and messages so simplistic but legitimate, and the overall feel of the book was so genuine. I really like the quote by George Orwell that says "The best books are those that tell you what you know already," because I absolutely agree. This book made me face r...more
Connie  Kuntz
Hardly the first time I've ever read this book, but it is the first time I have read it out loud to a boy. The boy in this case is my six-year-old son, Sam. My daughters were present for most of this reading experience, too, but this time I read it mostly for Sam.

Sam loved it and laughed his little bummy off throughout the entire story. I don't remember experiencing so much laughter during any of the other times I have read this book, and I must say, I enjoyed his laughter very much. In fact, I...more
Khalida wahid
This is one of the first books I remember ever reading - alone and by choice. I have since read it a few times as a teenager and again as an adult - and I look forward to the day I can share it with a class.

It is the story of a Pig named Wilbur who was rescued from death by a strong willed and determined young girl called Fern. When Wilbur is too big for Fern to continue looking after him in her home she takes him to stay in the barn. It is here Wilbur forms unusual friendships with the other fa...more
L12_tomj
Charlotte's Web is an endearing and beautifully tender story about the joy, sharing, and sacrifice that is inherent in any true friendship. E.B. White also expresses in an eloquently simple and genuine voice the innocence and pleasures that come from working and living on a farm. Except in the most remote corners of America, the sixty plus years since E.B. White wrote about this type of simple farm life have likely disappeared and have been replaced by the daily trappings of the 21st century inv...more
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Did it surprise you that Fern became so indifferent to Wilbur? 8 46 20 hours, 30 min ago  
Great book 30 91 Oct 22, 2014 04:52AM  
Who was your favourite character? 189 419 Oct 20, 2014 04:29PM  
Looking at Charlotte's Web in a new way... 6 67 Oct 01, 2014 06:53PM  
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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
More about E.B. White...
Stuart Little The Trumpet of the Swan Here Is New York Three Beloved Classics by E. B. White: Charlotte's Web/the Trumpet of the Swan/Stuart Little Charlotte's Web/Stuart Little Slipcase Gift Set

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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.” 6252 likes
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.” 925 likes
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