"It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a great write. Charlotte was both."
Last night after parent conferences, one boy was leaving the building with his mom at the same time I departed. "Please," he begged. "Can you read Charlotte's Web again?"
No matter how many times I have read this book, my throat tightens when Charlotte dies, giggles spill from me when Wilbur tries to spin a web with a piece of string attached to his tail, and my excitement rises with Wilbur's when three of Charlotte's 514 baby spiders ("That means 511 drifted away as aeronauts," one listener told me today) stay in the barn cellar. When teachers tell me their students have already read a book - insinuating I should not read it to them again - or when they demand that another grade level not use a book because they plan to do so, I remind them of how adult readers really do reread books...and with great pleasure. Many of these children will reread Charlotte's Web someday, and I hope the experience takes them back to the story steps when they were in second grade.