E.B. White first published "Charlotte's Web" in 1952, but young people still love the story of Wilbur the pig and his spider friend, Charlotte, who saves his life by spinning these words into her web: Terrific. Radiant. Some Pig.
Here are some book reviews sent in by readers who participated in the NeXt Book Club. Reviewers were eligible to win family passes to a screening of the new movie which opened Friday.
Many pupils at Niagara-Wheatfield's West Street School sent reviews and some sent drawings. Noting the author's craftsmanship in going through several drafts of the book, second grader Jacob Rojek of West Street Elementary noted: "E.B. White wrote Charlotte's Web 7 times until it was right."
Sweet Home junior Renee LaPlante came up with a clever headline for her review: "Charlotte's Web: You'll get caught up in it."
Elizabeth Bassler, a fifth grader at Newfane Intermediate, said: "I think that this book by E.B. White is good for young and old because it makes you laugh and cry. Everybody should read it."
Lia Hanes-Stetter, 8, from Immaculate Conception School in East Aurora said she felt that Charlotte's death in the book taught this important life lesson: "That someone you love might have to leave you."
Rawan Shamaa, 17, of Clarence High School felt: "the value of friendship was a key theme."
Third graders in Deborah Blanchard's class at G.J. Mann School in Niagara Falls read the book and watched the animated movie and connected the story to personal experiences. Billy Jones liked when "Charlotte sang Wilbur to sleep" because it reminded him of "when I was 3, 4 and 5 and my mom used to sing me to sleep." Charlotte's death at the end reminded William MacPherson of his dog Zar and how "when i was seven years old and I got out of school found out he was dead by cancer." Dylan Johnson liked that Charlotte saved Wilbur "got him famous all over. Got him in the newspaper. Got him in the fair. Everything!" Jordan Hutcheson liked when Charlotte met Wilbur by saying "Salutations." Matt Szarzanowicz, 8, of Nardin Elementary suggested these words for Charlotte to spin in her web: SMART, AWESOME, GREAT, EXCELLENT, PRIZE-WINNING PIG!, ELEGANT! GRACEFUL STUPENDOUS, BEAUTIFUL, OUT OF THIS WORLD.
Emily DeRoo, 11, of Heim Middle School suggested the words: PERFECT, NOT FOOD, and GRACIOUS. Elma Primary second grader Adam Karalus suggested: "# 1 Pig."
Here are excerpts from some reviews:
"Charlotte weaved words in her web to save Wilbur. The pig takes credit for the words. A pig that can read and write is amazing. People see Wilbur as an extraordinary pig. His life is saved from the frying pan."
-- Christopher Baich, 11, SS. Peter and Paul, Hamburg
Everyone has read at least one children's book in their life that has made a lasting impression. "Charlotte's Web" is one of these grand and "radiant" books. In fact, it has become a piece of classic American literature in the eyes of many. A whimsical story that's bound to leave you a little misty-eyed, "Charlotte's Web" ... deals with the wonder and beauty of true friendship, the difficulty of growing up, getting through the adversities life sends you and the vast obstacles that love can overcome.
-- Renee LaPlante, 17, Sweet Home
"Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White is a phenomenal book about friendship... E.B. White ... spices up the story with strong words and excellent description. I don't know how anyone couldn't like this book."
-- Nicole Golias, 11, Edward Town Middle School
Buffalo home-schooler Andrea Artis, 11, writes; "By the end of the book, you'll be sobbing for the loss of Wilbur's friend and laughing with relief for Wilbur! E.B. White really makes you think about the importance of friendship...I thoroughly enjoyed this book especially when Templeton comically brought back the word "crunchy" to describe Wilbur."