Date Released: 1952, December 14, 2004 Publisher: HarperCollins Rating: 5 keys Source: Bought & 60th Anniversary ISBN-13: 978-0064400558
Charlotte's Web is a book that formed my childhood. I remember being seven and eight years old, seeing it on my grandfather's shelf, and thinking,"That's a girls book... why does my grandfather have a little girls book?" I didn't understand then. Charlotte's Web is not a book about talking animals, a spiderweb, and a pig that was lucky, Charlotte's web is a book about what it means to be human, but at the age of eight all I saw was the little girl on the cover, and the animals that surrounded her.
So, two years of seeing this book propped on my grandfather's shelf led to me finally having it in my possession. I'm not sure how it happened, how they knew that was the only thing I thought about every time I glanced at the book shelf... but one day, I was granted permission to read it.
I remember the nights I spent then, curled up on a camping trip, my parents asleep feet away from me, but I was in another world, my head under the covers, a flashlight and Charlotte's Web the only thing I paid any attention to.
For those of you who have read Charlotte's Web, you understand what I'm talking about. The world is so different, but yet everything feels as if you have felt it before as soon as you open to the first page.
You feel for Wilbur, you love Charlotte, you feel like Fern is someone you have always known... that doesn't happen often when reading a book. Charlotte's Web is a classic because it is important and it shapes you. I felt different after I read it.
For sixty years this book has been read, loved and shared. For Sixty years this book has shaped those around it and influenced not only my generation, but also my grandfather's generation, my mother's generation, and it will be given to my own child.
It is terrific in a way other stories can't be. It captures something within each of us, and it hasn't failed yet. It is wonderful, it is fantastic, but most of all, it is important.
“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve
never done anything for you. ’You have been my friend,’ replied
Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you
because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we
live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something
of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you,
perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s
life can stand a little of that.” - E.B. White Charlotte's Web