Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (Banned Books Week)

 

Fern lives on a farm and has a special spot in her heart for a little pig named Wilbur.  Wilbur is a shy, bashful pig, and one day discovers a spider named Charlotte who he discovers making a web in the corner of his stall.

Charlotte has a way with words (literally) and soon Wilbur and her are friends and causing quite a scene in the barnyard. 

As Wilbur fears what will happen to him as after all, he is a pig on a farm… Charlotte helps him discover his true potential and self-worth.

 

Certainly, hopefully, you have spent time with this amazing book.  I did several times as a child, and today I spent time with it again.  Why?  Today kicks off the 2011 Banned Books Week… and yes, Charlotte and Wilbur have done gone and got themselves on this list.  More on that at the bottom of this post. 

 

Originally I thought the re-reading of this book would go quickly and perhaps I would even just skim through it enough to capture the memories…

well…

it didn’t quite go like that.

I had forgotten about how Fern had saved Wilbur’s life when he was a runt.  I had forgotten about the geese saying everything three times… and I had forgotten how Wilbur fainted when he was scared.  I always knew this was a good book… I had forgotten it was a great book.  Terrific even.  😀

I spent two hours in my recliner quietly reading and finding my younger self going back to the barn that in my childhood housed Charlotte, a selfless spider, and a fat rat named Templeton, and an amazing pig called Wilbur. 

And yes…. if you are wondering if it hit me all over again as the book came to a close… it did.  With tear filled eyes I closed the final page with a sense of once again having experienced something remarkable in E.B. Whites famous childrens book.

I cant imagine it not being available for me to one day read to the young children that filter into my life….

 

In 2006, some parents in a Kansas school district decided that talking animals are blasphemous and unnatural; passages about the spider dying were also criticized as being “inappropriate subject matter for a children’s book.”

According to the parent group at the heart of the issue, ‘humans are the highest level of God’s creation and are the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God.’

A junior high in Batley, West Yorkshire, England, which became the center of international attention in 2003 when the school’s Headteacher decreed that all books featuring pigs should be removed because it could potentially offend the school’s Muslim students and their parents.

I hope that if you have this book somewhere on the shelf… pull it down and either read it again to yourself, or share this incredible story with a child.

The Clue needed for the banned books week challenge:

This book is on loan from my local library

This is the second clue given today.  To know more about this please read my post from this morning.

59 thoughts on “Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (Banned Books Week)

  1. This was one of my absolute favorite childhood books. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it over the years. I’m appalled and disgusted at the people who worked to have this book banned. It’s disgraceful. What the heck is this country doing?!?!?!

    Tomorrow I’m going to buy several more copies of this wonderful book to give as gifts to the children in my life. Yep … I am.

    1. You rock Beth! You actually made me tear up with your comment!

      It is sad to think that kids would not be allowed to hear or read for themselves this incredible book. It still touched me…. and I already knew how it ended!

  2. You have to wonder about some people’s thought processes… Banning a book for either of those reasons is rediculous!

    Shamefully though, I haven’t actually read this book! I’ve heard of it, of course, and I’m sure one or two friends had it when we were kids, but, somehow, I never read it.

  3. If it weren’t so serious, the idea of banning this one would be almost laughable. Sometimes I think people go out of their way to try and ruin things for others.

    Long live books!

  4. sosaysthewhale

    I believe I am the only person who has never read this book or watched the movie. I feel like I’m missing out!

    I am honestly shocked at some of the reasons given for books being banned/challenged. I was going through a list at work the other day & there was a dictionary banned because it contained too much profanity & slang. …seriously?

    1. I dont think I have ever seen the movie… 😀

      The dictionary one cracks me up…. that is just too funny. Yes some of the reasons are so ridiculous. I love to review the ones that shock people because you would never dreamed it was a banned book.

      1. sosaysthewhale

        lol, yes! I knew a lot of the classics were banned, but never knew the reasons until I searched. I love the looks I get whenever I tell a customer that insert children’s book here has been banned.

        I’d like to get a few books read this week, but so far the one I’m deadset on reviewing is James & the Giant Peach.

        1. Nice! Let me know if you are going to review that and when and I will be happy to link you here as long as I know the day before 😀

          When people hear I read banned books they think I am reading some sort of filth…. when I tell them what books are banned… like you said, they are shocked. 😀

  5. i read it in college for story telling 238-h. i loved it. later (after graduation) i saw the cartoon movie they made of it which was equally adorable! if you liked the book, trust me, you will the movie too!

    1. There are some funny moments in the book that I had not thought about before Jill.. like when he is in the house as a baby and they are all eating bacon…. wrong wrong wrong…LOL

      … and now… the BANNING!

  6. Oh Good Grief! (to quote Charlie Brown). I didn’t know this was on the banned books list. Charlotte’s Web is an old favorite and one of the first books I ever owned. That makes it pretty old. 🙂 It sits right here on my shelf and is one of the books I would save from a burning house.

    1. I know Leslie… I really could have never guessed why it had been banned and when I did I was like “WHAT?” What about Bugs Bunny, Winnie The Pooh, oh wait… Winnie The Pooh IS BANNED…. but that, is another story 😀

  7. We have at least one copy of this book, proabably more, in our house. I’ve read it to first and second graders and read it with my own children. We’ve also watched both the animated movie and the live action one. I love it!

  8. holdenj

    It’s also one of those books that’s a commonality between so many people. At work once, for instance, upon seeing a spiderweb, we wondered what the message was!

  9. I have yet to read this one, though it’s been on my wishlist for years. I think a trip to the store is in order.

    I do like the movie, if that counts.

  10. I hope this is one you decide to add to our collection of reviews on our Banned Books blog. The challengers may be ridiculous, but it’s important for everyone to see the kinds of books they want to ban.

    1. Oh yes – sorry Bonnie, I keep forgetting to do that. Seems like I am running form one thing tot he other this week and getting in my blog time as I can. I will try to do that this afternoon when I get home from work.

  11. Well, I’m not particularly interested in reading Charlotte’s Web, but it isn’t anyone else’s place to tell me if I can or if the kids can read it. What a crazy reason too. Jeez. by that reasoning, all of Brian Jacque’s books should also be banned (a whole series of fighting and talking rodents – not rats, but all those other small animals of the forests) They use swords and everything. There are quite a few other books that feature animals that talk – Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, The Wind in The Willows, etc. Books with talking animals are of great interest to childrent and help to keep them reading. I hope these people don’t get their way.

  12. No, way!!! How could anyone even considering banning Charlotte’s Web? It’s one of the most beloved children’s books of all time! I couldn’t even guess the reasons until I read your post…wow. Crazy, huh?

    I just love Charlotte’s Web – thanks for the memories!

    Sue

  13. ‘humans are the highest level of God’s creation and are the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God.’

    People who ban really take themselves quite seriously, do they not?

  14. Now I want to reread this!! I loved this book, and I’m kind of waiting to read it with my son. I’m not quite sure he is ready yet but SOON!

    And the reason it was banned … RIDICULOUS! I guess they don’t like Disney movies either!

  15. That has to be one of the stupidest reasons I’ve ever heard for banning a book. Charlotte’s Web is one of my favorite children’s books, and it was the first book my daughter read on her own. I even gave her my old tattered copy. 🙂

  16. I haven’t read this book, though I know that I bought it for our son years ago, and it’s in the house! It was a sad movie! I guess that I’m going to have to look for it sometime!

  17. ‘blasphemous and unnatural’? People really need to get a grip!
    Thank you for featuring this one. It was a favorite as a kid, but I’d forgotten about some of the same things you did!

  18. This book always resonated with me because my mom grew up on a farm and would tell stories of feeding the runt pigs with a baby bottle. I imagined her life was just like Fern’s.

    Thanks for the thoughts!

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