Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Charlotte's Web

 Charlotte's Web
Title: Charlotte’s Web  
 Author: E.B.White 
Illustrator: Garth Williams
Publisher: New York:  Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.
Genre: Modern Fantasy 
 Level: middle/intermediate  
Number of pages: 184  
Pub. Date: 1952
Summary  A pig named Wilbur is saved by a young girl named Fern.  He lives on Zuckerman’s Farm where he meets Charlotte a grey spider.  Charlotte befriends Wilber and creates a plan to save him by writing in her web.  Wilber is awarded a special medal at the fair and his life is saved.  Charlotte dies alone but her 3 of her children live on in the barn as Wilber’s friends. 
Critique: The setting is realistic; the barn is a real place.  The characters, particularly Fern and Charlotte, grow and change over the course of the narrative.  This story falls into “becoming one’s own person” category of realistic fiction.  There are elements of fantasy in this story.  The animals in Zuckerman’s barn can talk to each other and Fern can hear them; the author continually makes this fantastic element believable. 
Response: This was a book that I remember being a great part of my childhood. It was my mom’s favorite book growing up so when she heard that I would be reading it again she was so excited. I loved the descriptive language that E.B. White uses when describing the setting, especially at the beginning of each chapter. This story really tugged at my heartstrings, but I definitely don’t remember it being so sad. I must have blocked out the fact that Charlotte died because I it made me sad as a child because I don’t remember that at all. The characters are well-developed and comical and are definitely the biggest reason why this book tugged at those heartstrings.
Venn Diagram Comparing Charlotte and Wilbur

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