Charlotte's Web

Book review by Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 7+

Gentle, much-loved barnyard classic delights all ages.

Parents say

age 6+

Based on 40 reviews

Kids say

age 7+

Based on 62 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 10+

A wonderful book that many miss the strength of

Children typically do not understand the permanency of death until they are around 8-10 years old, the majority not understanding this until 10. Charlotte's Web is not a cute child's story, but a coming of age story, as Wilber and Fern both grow from childhood to adult. The great sacrifice is given to Wilber to bear as he loses his beloved Charlotte. This is a wonderful book, but the impact of loss, the understanding of interest turning to boys for Fern, the idea of life growing and continuing on even after death and after the loss of childhood, they're LOST if you read before your child hits that developmental stage.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Does contain sexist ideas of how girls should behave and dress (for boys' attention)

I'm surprised by how many review this book as having zero reference to romance. The mother being so worried that her daughter spends all her time with animals, visits the family doctor who asks "How about boys - does she know any boys?" And guess what, the mother doesn't worry about Avery not hanging out with girls... in the same conversation she says "Avery is always fine" and goes on to say how he's always messing about outdoors... though it is a problem for her daughter to act this way. Getting ready for the fair Fern "put on her prettiest dress because she knew she would see boys at the Fair". At the fair, she's wishing "she were in the topmost car with Henry Fussy at her side", which at the end of the book, she tells her brother she can't stop thinking about months later. I think this should be a read aloud for slightly older children and these moments in the story can then be discussed.

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