Charlotte’s Web

by E.B. White (1952)

A Sweet Spot selection. 

Also available in Spanish.

Read to Them is proud to offer E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web. An entire community reading about Farmer Zuckerman’s barn – from kindergarteners to 5th graders, from parents to administrators, from teachers to bus drivers – will give your school an experience that is nothing less than “TERRIFIC.”

Whether you are an older sibling who has already read it, or one who has not yet been introduced to Charlotte, Fern, Wilbur, and Templeton, Charlotte’s Web will be a worthwhile joy to first-time and fifth-time readers alike.

“He’s as smooth as they come. He’s some pig.”

When Fern’s father agrees to let her keep the runt of the litter, she names him Wilbur and immediately decides she loves him “more than anything.” But loving something more than anything is sometimes hard. When Fern’s father insists it’s time to sell the pig, Wilbur finds himself going from living with Fern in a home under the apple tree to living in a “manure pile in the cellar of Zuckerman’s barn.”

It’s not bad at Zuckerman’s barn…but it’s lonely. Wilbur “didn’t want food, he wanted love” and eventually finds it in Charlotte, the wise and gentle spider that lives in the rafters. Templeton, too, becomes a friend, as much as a cynical rat can be. Life starts to feel pretty pleasant at Zuckerman’s barn.

Then Wilbur catches wind that he’s going to be killed. This is more than he can bear.

“I don’t want to die!” he moaned. “I want to stay alive, right here in my comfortable manure pile with all my friends. I want to breathe the beautiful air and lie in the beautiful sun.”

Thanks to Charlotte’s resourcefulness, Wilbur does stay alive, as does this classic children’s tale by the author who also gave us Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan. Revisit Charlotte’s Web with excitement and love and get ready to share all the language and detail that continues to make this book so unique. Invite another generation of children to share and remember the salient significance of “Some Pig” and “Terrific” and “Radiant” and “Humble.”

And discover what true friendship – and true love – really is.

Someday your students will share Charlotte’s Web with their own children – carrying on the legacy of what we call ‘the culture of literacy.’

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