1. White, E.B. Charlotte’s Web. Estate of Garth Williams, 1999. 184 pages. Tr. $4.51 ISBN 0064410935
Brief Plot Description: Wilbur, a pig raised in Mr. Zuckerman’s barn, tries to escape from the barn for freedom. He feels lonely until he meets his friend, a spider named Charlotte. Charlotte saves Wilbur’s life from being butchered by weaving words of “some pig,” “terrific” and “radiant” on the web that tricks Mr. Zuckerman and people in town into believing Wilbur is an unusual pig. Since then, Wilbur gets famous and is treated very well by Mr. Zuckerman. When Charlotte is dying, Wilbur saves Charlotte’s children and takes care of them.
Genre(s)/Subject(s): Juvenile Fiction, Friendship, Farm life, Domestic Animals, Pigs & Spiders.
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Awards: Newbery Honor Book for 1953, Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal 1970, Massachusetts Children’s Book Award for 1984, Award winners-ALA Notable/Best Books; Award Winners-SLJ Best Book.
Books Similar in Style, Content, Theme, or Characters: Mogo, the Third Warthog by Donna Jo Napoli. The Cricket in Times Square byGeorge Selden.
Programming/Lesson Ideas: Children can have a role play with this story since many children are familiar with this story.
Personal Thoughts: I chose this book because it is one of the favored classic novels for children. The story is well-written and easy to read. It can easily spark children’s interest in reading since the little pig and the spider are so adorable in the story. Friendship, love, and compassion are the themes of this book. The story reveals the true meaning of friendship in that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” Children can also learn not to judge everything from the surface. Although the spider’s appearance is not attractive, she has a beautiful soul and is supportive of her friend.