Charlotte's Web Book

Charlotte’s Web Book Overview

by TeachThought Staff

Today’s product Pick Of The Day is a childhood classic on almost every self-respected reading list in the United States (and many beyond): Charlotte’s Web book by E.B. White.

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Charlotte’s Web Plot Summary

via Wikipedia

After a little girl named Fern Arable pleads for the life of the runt of a litter of piglets, one spring morning, her father gives her the pig to nurture, and she names him Wilbur. She treats him as a pet, but a month later, no longer small, Wilbur is sold to Fern’s uncle, Homer Zuckerman. In Zuckerman’s barnyard Wilbur yearns for companionship but is snubbed by the other animals. He is befriended by a barn spider named Charlotte, whose web sits in a doorway overlooking Wilbur’s enclosure. When Wilbur discovers that he is being raised for slaughter, she promises to hatch a plan guaranteed to spare his life. Fern often sits on a stool, listening to the animals’ conversation, but over the course of the story, as she starts to mature, she begins to find other interests.

As the summer passes, Charlotte ponders the question of how to save Wilbur. At last, she comes up with a plan, which she proceeds to implement. Reasoning that Zuckerman would not kill a famous pig, Charlotte weaves words or short phrases in praise of Wilbur into her web, making the barn, and pig, a tourist attraction, with the web believed to be a miracle. At the county fair, to which he is accompanied by Charlotte and the rat Templeton, Wilbur fails to win the blue ribbon, but is awarded a special prize by the judges. Charlotte, by then dying as barn spiders do in the fall, hears the presentation over the public address system and knows that the prize means Zuckerman will cherish Wilbur for as long as the pig lives, and will never slaughter him for his meat. She does not return to the farm with Wilbur and Templeton, remaining at the fairgrounds to die, but allows Wilbur to take with him her egg sac, from which her children will hatch in the spring.

Wilbur waits out the winter, a winter he would not have survived but for Charlotte. Delighted when the tiny spiders hatch, he is devastated when most leave the barn. Three remain to take up residence in Charlotte’s old doorway. Pleased at finding new friends, Wilbur names one of them Nellie, while the remaining two name themselves Joy and Aranea. Further generations of spiders keep him company in subsequent years.

Charlotte’s Web Themes

Friendship, Death, Sacrifice, Love, Loyalty, Continuity of Life, Rebirth, Devotion

Charlotte’s Web Characters

Wilbur, Charlotte A. Cavatica, Fern Arable, Templeton, Avery Arable, Homer Zuckerman, Wilbur, Henry Fussy, Stuart Little, Uncle

Charlotte’s Web Book Data

Title: Charlotte’s Web

Publisher: Harper Collins

Author: E.B. White

Publication Date: October 15, 1952

Length: 192 pages

ISBN: 9780060263850. ISBN 10: 0060263857

Lexile Level: 680L

Charlotte’s Web needs no introduction for most Western readers, but if you do, the publisher’s description is below. You can also find more TeachThought Recommended Books.

Charlotte’s Web Publisher Description

“Don’t miss one of America’s top 100 most-loved novels, selected by PBS’s The Great American Read.

This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children’s literature that is “just about perfect.” Illustrations in this ebook appear in vibrant full color on a full-color device and in rich black-and-white on all other devices.

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. It contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, among many other books.”

You can find the book it here on Amazon and here on BookShop.org.

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Charlotte’s Web Book