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August 10, 2016

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Every month, TAB editor Kristin will be sharing her thoughts on five titles from our… Read More

June 1, 2016

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Charlotte’s Web Is 60 Years Old

My dear, dear childhood friends Charlotte and Wilbur turn 60 this year. Sixty! Can you believe it? I’ve written about my love for E. B. White here before…he is one of the reasons I am the reader I am. And Charlotte played an important part in my story.

Instead of regaling you with tales of how important Charlotte’s Web is to me, for this week’s edition of Wait! This Is the Best Part! I thought I’d pull together some stories from all of you! The other day we asked our Facebook fans: What were some of your fondest memories of Wilbur and Charlotte?

Here’s a glimpse of what you all had to say (spoiler alert!):

My mom read that book to me, a chapter a night, when I was six. One night, right before Charlotte…well, you know…she got a phone call. I was impatient and picked up the book and kept reading, and when my mom came back in I was crying uncontrollably and couldn’t be consoled! That was well over 30 years ago, but (my mother and) I remember it as if it happened yesterday!
- Caaren

I read Charlotte’s Web to my second graders every spring. One year as I was reading the part where Wilbur learns he is going to be killed and he runs around screaming “I don’t want to die!” apparently I was a bit louder than usual. The first-grade teacher next door opened our connecting door and said, “We just took a vote and we don’t want you to die either.” I will be reading that chapter on Friday…
- Erla

It was the first book I read [to him] with no pictures. He was three and listened to the whole thing. Wow. That was a long time ago. ;(
- Cynthia

My second-grade teacher, Ms. Love (how cool is that?) introduced me to this book. Growing up in a single-family home with seven children, we couldn’t afford books. Ms. Love let me borrow her book and I read it religiously, until the pages fell out. When I had to return it to her, I was in tears because A) I didn’t want to give her back a ruined book and B) I had to give it back to her. On my last day of second grade, she gave me a brand-new copy, signed to me. How special is that book? It led me to finally be able to enjoy reading and know how a book could be so powerful and so meaningful. Best book ever written by far!
- Dorothy

Just last week we were discussing the story elements when I finally asked, “So what was your favorite part?” A very shy and quiet little girl’s hand shot up fast. She said, “When Charlotte was talking to Wilbur and said, “I’ll be your friend. I’ve been watching you and I like you.” Another student noticed and said, “Ms. Mercer you have so many goose bumps!” My favorite part too. :)
- Stanandmichelle

This was my favorite book when I was a kid; my mom had to buy two copies because I wore the first one out.
- Emily

Just seeing this book cover makes me smile!
- Laura

These are just a few of the many, many wonderful comments that were posted the other day. The main takeaway my co-worker and I had was this: Even though this story is 60 years old now, it’s still being read in classrooms and it’s still being loved by readers of all ages. Here’s to another 60 years, Charlotte and Wilbur!

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2 Responses

  1. Sharla Gladden

    I sometimes would get upset because I was often called Charlotte because this book and cartoon movie was so popular. My cousin came to live with us when I was 13 and he was 4. He would watch “Charlotte’s Web” and say he wanted to watch the “Web of Sharla”. I got a kick out of that! It doesn’t bother me anymore to be called Charlotte-she was one cool spider!

  2. Rose Stevens

    I read this book to my third graders every year. For the past few years, we even put on a play for others to watch. They enjoy pretending to be the characters in the story. I love hearing as they add expression to the characters’ voices!

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