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Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White
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Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  5,540 ratings  ·  1,041 reviews

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers wil
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  5,540 ratings  ·  1,041 reviews

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Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
This book is magical. I could feel it the moment I held it in my hands. It's so alive, it seems as though it has a pulse of its own.

I can not recommend it enough. Do not be fooled, thinking it is a "children's book." My children are precious, but this is not for them. It is for me, and for all lovers of E.B. White, all writers, and all biography aficionados.

I have loved E.B. White since my childhood, and I consider Charlotte's Web one of the most perfect books ever written. I have more recently
Diane Barnes
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don't read many children's books anymore, since my daughter is grown and I have no grandchildren (I know, my loss). But after seeing some magnificent reviews lately, and because E.B. White's essays are favorite reading material for me, I knew I had to check it out. This is everything they said, and more. A simple story of a simple man who never wanted to be famous, but just enjoy his farm in Maine and write about things he lived. Illustrated with collages, photographs, bits of typewritten lett ...more
Colby Sharp
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A 176 page picture book biography? Yes, please!

Some Writer! is one of the best biographies, for kids, that I have ever read. This books has to be in the conversation for all the major awards: Sibert, Newbery, Caldecott.
"Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. Children are demanding. They are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick and generally congenial readers on earth...Children are game for anything. I throw them hard words, and they backhand them over the net."
To start: E. B. White is one of my most favorite authors. Ever. His books are crackling with heart and charm and are true to the spirit of childhood. And anyone who can
Kate Willis
When I’m dead and famous, please write my biography exactly like this one. It felt like reading a scrapbook with all the photographs, newspaper clippings, and letters scattered throughout. The scrapbooked decorations were adorable, and the illustration style was very fun. <3 Quite the aesthetically pleasing book! My favorite part was when it showed the six different drafts of the first line for Charlotte’s Web. I quite identified with his author-ly struggle. ;) E.B. White led an enthusiastic, ja ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
I love Melissa Sweet's writing, but it's the illustrations she makes to accompany her text that wows me. Sweet's technique is unique; she uses a collage of real objects. Her art almost has a 3-D effect.

Great writing.
Knock-your-socks-off illustrations.
And E. B. White.

It's to die for.
From a narrational point of departure, yes indeed, I definitely do find Melissa Sweet’s middle grade biography of E.B White (which I also believe would likely be of interest to and for adult readers), I do consider her Some Writer: The Story of E.B. White almost textually perfect and namely so because in my opinion, Melissa Sweet sticks to the rules of writing and the elements of composition that always seemed part and parcel to E.B. White’s own work and were his constant guideposts (to focus an ...more
Feb 6, 2019: I'm sure this will be a highlight of my reading year and anticipate it will lead to much reading of E. B. White, or Andy as we learn he was called by friends and family all his life. The book itself is a colorful work of art, filled with photographs, collage and quotes/passages recreated on a manual typewriter by Melissa Sweet. I only knew the bare bones of White's life story and am so happy to have learned more about this man who started writing as a boy and never stopped until jus ...more
Betsy Robinson
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Betsy by: Julie
This sumptuously illustrated biography for children is catnip for adult lovers of E. B. White. In fact, for ladies with a sapiosexual proclivity (look it up), E. B. White is possibly the sexiest man who ever lived.

Thank you to Julie Grippo for reviewing this book and stirring up things all over the place.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a non-fiction biography of E.B. White’s life for young readers and adults alike. The funny thing is that I won this book in a giveaway which I really can’t remember entering at all! It was on Instagram but I am very happy to have won because I really enjoyed reading this book. When I started reading it I was unaware of the fact that E.B. White is the author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. Although I haven’t read the latter I’m well acquainted with the movie as it was part of m ...more
Abigayle Claire
Oh my goodness, this book is so beautiful and such a fun insight on Elwyn Brooks White. I didn't know much about his personal life--just the beauty of the world he conveyed through his writing. But learning about his poetry that gained him recognition from a young age, his lifelong position at The New Yorker, and the simple way he strived to live life ... it was so inspiring! I loved how he remained true to his own writing, never caving to the pressure to write what other people wanted him to, b ...more
3.5 out of 5
It would be unfair for me to assume/generalize about the appeal of Some Writer! to a child audience because 1) I am not a child anymore, 2) I don't work with children, and 3) different children have different preferences/interests. So, instead, I will tell you what I think about this book as an adult. Here we go:

1) Some Writer! is a well-researched (as evident from the extensive back matter), lovingly written, and gorgeously illustrated biography in a picturebook/chapter book format
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect blending of brief biography; excerpts from White's essays, letters, and books; and artwork, including photographs, illustrations from White's books, and Sweet's wonderful drawings and collages. The Afterward by Martha White is lovely, confirming for the reader that Melissa Sweet did well, concluding, “Here in these pages, you will find the grandfather I remember so well, the man with a dachshund on his desk and his hands on a manual typewriter.” ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one sitting, so captivated by the charm of the subject and the author/illustrator and the affection that Sweet clearly feels for her subject. The biography is full of quotes from White, samples of his manuscripts, photographs and other memorabilia, as well, of course, as Sweet' interpretations of the events she describes. She is the perfect author for this subject, as White's grand-daughter asserts at the end of the book. The source notes and bibliography will boggle your min ...more
Laura Harrison
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin with Some Writer!? Every facet of Melissa Sweet's new biography is a masterpiece. The writing, the astonishingly unique and creative artwork-I could go on and on. The incredible dust jacket art is going to have some embellishments in the form of 2017 award stickers in a few months. No doubt in my mind. Bravo, Melissa Sweet! ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I love Melissa Sweet's picture books, and now I know that she writes excellent chapter books as well. I have loved E.B. White's books, but never knew much about the man. I didn't know that he wrote poetry (must look into that) or that he worked for The New Yorker for so many years. I would love to read his 2 collections of Newsbreaks from that magazine. I also never connected him with the the White of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, which I used in college. He only wrote 3 children's b ...more
After reading this book, I am now a big fan of E.B. White! Of course, I knew he wrote Charlotte's Web but nothing about his career as a columnist or his upbringing or personal life. This biography covers it all perfectly by using fun illustrations, lots of real pictures from E.B.'s life, many textured collages, lots of quotes from letters and columns written by E.B. himself, and pictures of his handwritten manuscripts and notes. We learn what prompted him to write his three successful children's ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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I have to say that this was an oddly readable book despite its length (176 pages) and subject matter (E.B. White just mainly wanted to be left alone and write). Will my students be as blown away by it as the teachers and librarians like me who seem to love it? Probably not. As much as I like The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus illustrated by this author, I would not be at all surprised if it has never once circulated.

So, well researched, visually appealing, oddly rea
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This is delightful*: beautifully presented, with a lot of White's writing included. White's writing is so transcendent that it elevates the entire book - the biographical information is nice and all, but it, the pictures, and the collages feel secondary to the main content: those words.

*This sentence included the word "absolutely" before "delightful." It has been cut because I am now more conscious of unnecessary words.
Lauren Stoolfire
I knew that I had to try this biography after my old kindergarten teacher recommended her most recent read. I'm very glad I did because this picture book style memoir of the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little is an absolute must read for fans or anyone intrigued by his fascinating life story. ...more
Lindsay Fouts
I stumbled upon this book at the library, and I am sure glad I did.

What a treasure this book is, and the artwork is beautiful.

Now, I think I need to re-read Charlotte's Web.
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's the first time I've ever seen a biography of a non-visual artist take the form of artwork with accompanying text, but it's immensely visually appealing, and if you know and love E.B. White's books, learning about his life is a bonus.

A sidenote: When I'm reading any sort of work that touches on the history of 20th century American children's literature, I have a perverse tendency to boo when pioneering children's librarian Anne Carroll Moore enters the scene. Here, I have to admit that I'm a
Pernille Ripp
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Charlotte's Web was the very first read aloud novel I shared with our oldest daughter, Theadora. While I knew what was coming, I still cried right along with her when it got to that point. We still marveled at the story, breathed it in together, and thus the book became a part of the narrative that weave us together as a family. I was therefore excited to read Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet, because it turns out there is so much I did not know about the famous author who ...more
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A delightful book! Adults will definitely enjoy it - I am curious whether the children in my family will find it as entrancing as I did. Here is a link to my review: ...more
Anna Smithberger
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely gorgeous book! Were I not about to begin storytime I would spend an hour in a corner weeping about the beauty of telling stories for children!
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've had Charlotte's Web on the mind recently and so when I saw this illustrated biography on display in the children's section at the library, I picked it up. I'm so glad I did. love reading how author's lives influence their work and how their writing evolves. Melissa Sweet included photos of White's many versions of the first page of Charlotte's Web. He crossed things out, drew arrows going here and there, and worked and re-worked the first line until he eventually settled on, "Where's Papa g ...more
Wonderful biography of E.B White and fantasticly put together. I loved how it was illustrated and the use of quotes to underscore his writing style, approach, and personality. Stuart Little was one of my favourite books and my sister loved Charlotte's Web. Highly recommended. ...more
Wendy MacKnight
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
When I was a kid, there was nothing I liked so much as I eating biographies of famous people, since I had every intention of being famous myself. Most of them gave me the cold heart facts. Melissa Sweet gives poetry and soul and wisdom and art. More than once as I read this book, I wondered anew at the genius of EB White, but also found myself wondering at the genius of his biographer. Kids are going to love this book, as are the adults in their lives, and all fans of one of the 20th Century's g ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this beautiful book. What a fun way to learn about E.B. White and how several of my most beloved stories came to be.
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a librarian with a very small house, I am necessarily selective about what books I bring into my home for keeps. As soon as I finished Some Writer!, I knew this was a must-have. Using excerpts from letters, images of manuscripts under revision (imagine if Charlotte's Web hadn't started with its now iconic first line?!), photos, and other ephemera, Melissa Sweet presents a beautiful portrait of E.B. White. Some Writer! is a loving look at White's personal and professional lives. White's gifts ...more
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There is more than one author with this name

Melissa Sweet grew up in a suburban neighborhood that had lots of kids, kick-the-can games on summer nights, and Percy's candy store right nearby.

Later she received her Associate’s Degree from Endicott Junior College in Beverly, Massachusetts, and studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute.

Sweet began began illustrating children's books in 1986 and h

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