As most of you know, Clean Teen Reads is all about books, stories, and teens. I love stories, and I think you do too. Here’s a story about a story.
As a book lover, I’m sure you’re familiar with the story of Charlotte’s Web. You either read the book, or watched the movie. For those very fortunate ones, it would include both.
E.B. White, the author, was a man with a dry wit, an active imagination, a skilled writing talent, and an intense love of animals. That love of “animals” included spiders, hence the writing of Charlotte’s Web.
He sold the book to Harper & Row by way of a supportive and imaginative editor, Ursula Nordstrom. But a few weeks before the book’s release, the Harper & Row publicity department began to get a little edgy about the idea of a spider as the main character. They were worried that a spider might revolt readers and critics, so they asked him to explain his choice.
His answer is classic. I could cut and paste it here, but it’s quite long, so I invite you to visit the site where you’ll find not only his answer to the question, but some of his sketches as well. If you love Charlotte’s Web, you’ll love this. Read it HERE.
The Drama of Hatching Spider Eggs
My favorite part is where E. B. White takes the spider and her egg sac from its place in the barn on his farm, and boxes it up and takes it to New York with him. He just couldn’t bear to part with the unfolding drama.
This is how true writers weave stories—like a spider weaves a web. The writer becomes fascinated with a certain something. And springing out of their fascination are generations of readers who are privileged to enjoy the stories!
PS: E.B. White also wrote Stuart Little
I wrote the story of Brought To You By The Color Drab because I was fascinated with the idea of a teen rebel having to slow down and be patient as the driver for a blind piano tuner. Here’s the result!