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'Charlotte's Web' Summary

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Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web


The Bottom Line

Published in 1952, E.B. White's Charlotte's Web is a work of fantasy, incorporating extensive research into spiders. This children's book was awarded the Massachusetts Children's Book Award (1984), Newbery Honor Book (1953), Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal (1970), and Horn Book Fanfare.


  • Presented in a clear, straightforward style (accessible)


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  • Title: Charlotte's Web
  • Author: E.B. White
  • Genre/Type of Work: Children's book; fable; fantasy
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Publication Date: 1952

Guide Review - 'Charlotte's Web' Summary

Charlotte's Web is a fable by E.B. White. an award-winning story about a pig named Wilbur, who is befriended by a spider: Charlotte. The spider saves Wilbur, makes him miraculous (special)--so he doesn't go to the slaughterhouse to be turned into bacon.

Charlotte is a friend. We come to care what happens to her. In Chapter 5, Wilbur thinks, "I've got a new friend... But what a gamble friendship is! Charlotte is fierce, brutal, scheming, bloodthirsty--everything I don't like. How can I learn to like her, even though she is pretty and, of course, clever?"

All the while, White employs his famous award-winning writing style ("unable not to write"). As James Thurber once said, "No one can write a sentence like White." (One of his claims to fame was The Elements of Style.)

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