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Because of Winn-Dixie [Kindle Edition]

Kate DiCamillo
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,166 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor.A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive.Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.

Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship and forgiveness can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

Recalling the fiction of Harper Lee and Carson McCullers, here is a funny, poignant, and utterly genuine first novel from a major new talent.

Editorial Reviews Review

Because of Winn-Dixie, a big, ugly, happy dog, 10-year-old Opal learns 10 things about her long-gone mother from her preacher father. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal makes new friends among the somewhat unusual residents of her new hometown, Naomi, Florida. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal begins to find her place in the world and let go of some of the sadness left by her mother's abandonment seven years earlier.

With her newly adopted, goofy pooch at her side, Opal explores her bittersweet world and learns to listen to other people's lives. This warm and winning book hosts an unforgettable cast of characters, including a librarian who fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace, an ex-con pet-store clerk who plays sweet music to his animal charges, and the neighborhood "witch," a nearly blind woman who sees with her heart. Part Frankie (The Member of the Wedding), part Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird), Opal brings her own unique and wonderful voice to a story of friendship, loneliness, and acceptance. Opal's down-home charm and dead-on honesty will earn her friends and fans far beyond the confines of Naomi, Florida. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

DiCamillo's debut novel, a 2001 Newbery Honor Book, percolates with heartfelt emotion and eccentric Southern color as superbly performed by Tony Award-winning actress Jones. Ten-year-old Opal, lonely in the Florida town where she has just moved with her preacher father, instantly takes a shine to a scraggly stray dog she encounters in the local Winn-Dixie supermarket. The pooch, named for their meeting place, becomes a trusted companion with whom Opal can share her thoughts and fears, and her hurt, confused feelings about the mother who left the family when Opal was three. Winn-Dixie is soon helping Opal in other ways, too. The dog's "smile" and sweet temperament act as ice breakers that allow Opal to meet a whole new group of friends who grow to be an unusual extended family. Jones imbues her depiction of Opal with a tone of youthful, hopeful wonder and skillfully transforms her voice to distinguish the other older, life-weathered characters. A Tennessee native, she never sounds hokey as she adopts a Southern accent, and she effortlessly slips into a compelling storytelling rhythm. This is a top-notch treatment of an award-winning tale. Ages 8-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
242 of 254 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Because of Winn-Dixie" READ IT! April 22, 2000
By Ann W.
As my ten-year-old daughter and I were browsing for new realistic fiction children's books to fulfill a school reading assignment, we, by chance, came across "Because of Winn-Dixie," by Kate DiCamillo. The title of the book (and the fact that it was new) influenced our purchase, but it wasn't until my daughter and I read it that we realized what a treasure we had discovered. Both children and adults will be drawn into the story of India Opal Buloni's tenth summer, when she adopts a big, ugly, but affable dog, Winn-Dixie, named after the Florida grocery store where he was found. India Opal, or Opal for short, is a preacher's daughter with a fairly unusual name. Opal has some major life adjustments to make, after moving with her dad to a trailer in a strange, new town. While trying to break through the seemingly impenetrable shell of her introverted father's feelings, she also has to wrestle with her own sadness, disappointment, and curiosity about her alcohol-abusing mother, who deserted the family when Opal was three years old. Winn-Dixie, a magnificent mutt who, among other talents, can smile with his teeth, is the facilitator of a number of new and sometimes unlikely friendships that Opal establishes over the summer, including one with her father. "Because of Winn-Dixie" acknowledges in is characters their shortcomings and sufferings, but the triumph of this book is how it celebrates friendship, forgiveness, tolerance, and new beginnings. (P.S. You might want to have a handkerchief on hand for some parts.)
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129 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming dog story full of grace and wisdom! May 18, 2001
Our elementary school library just acquired two copies of "Because of Winn-Dixie," because of its status as a Newbery Honor book. I gave it to one of our fourth grade teachers to preview. She devoured it, raved about the book and immediately began reading it aloud to her class. Now we have a growing list of students waiting for it on hold.
Before letting the kids check it out, I read it, and absolutely loved it. The other reviews here give you a good picture of what the book is about. What I liked about "Winn-Dixie" is that it packs a lot of grace and wisdom into an appealing scruffy dog story. For example, when Opal befriends elderly Gloria Dump, she asks her about learning "the most important thing."
"'It's different for everyone,' she said. 'You find out on your own. But in the meantime, you got to remember, you can't always judge people by the things they done. You got to judge them by what they are doing now.'"
Quite often in the past few years I've been disappointed by titles that have received the Newbery Medal or Honor. "Because of Winn-Dixie" is a title that genuinely deserves this honor. In my opinion, this Honor book will become a classic, much as the Laura Ingalls Wilder Newbery Honor books of the 1930s and 1940s are still being read today.
Very rarely do I read a book that I insist my friends and fellow teachers read, or that I'm tempted to buy for many people. "Because of Winn-Dixie" falls into that category.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winn-Dixie is a winner! June 1, 2000
Racing through an airport, I spotted this book for sale and purchased it for my 9 year-old. I started reading Winn-Dixie just to get a feel for the story and the next thing I knew, I had finished the book, missed the first hour of the flight and had throughly enjoyed a book I thought was written for children! Needless to say, my daughter enjoyed the book so much that she, her father and her younger sister then read the book aloud together. I plan to read Winn-Dixie aloud to my 8th grade students next fall. Buy this book. It is remarkable and to not read it is to miss a wonderful story by a very talented writer for all ages.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Story, Overly Hyped June 4, 2007
Everything that happens to Opal that summer she moves to a new town seems to be because of her new dog, Winn-Dixie. In fact, Winn-Dixie himself is someting of an accident to her. She found him, a stray, causing a scene in the grocery store and couldn't bear for him to go to the pound. Instead she took him home hoping her preacher father, raising her alone since her mother left them shortly after Opal's birth, would take pity on the dog and let him stay. Her father does, and Opal has her first friend in her new town.

Soon afterward, Winn-Dixie seems to help Opal to make friends all over the place. The librarian likes him and lets him come in to hear her stories with Opal. When Opal doesn't have enough money to buy a collar and leash, she brings Winn-Dixie to the pet store and he keeps her and the manager company while she sweeps the store in exchange for credit. An old woman whom some children say is a witch takes a liking to Winn-Dixie and Opal realizes that she is just lonely and coping with past memories. Perhaps most importantly of all, though, is that Winn-Dixie's presence gives Opal the courage to ask her father about her mother, and he helps her to understand a little better what might have happened between them.

I liked that the characters in this story were so vivid, and that each of them seemed to be fighting off some sort of loneliness or bad feeling, but they all found ways to deal with it. I also liked the relationship Opal had with her father, and the relationship that formed between him and Winn-Dixie. I would have liked to have seen further development of the friendship between Dunlap and Opal. I could see the start of something between them, but I wish I had been able to have seen more of how they would relate to each other.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Granddaughter loved it!
I bought this for my 8 year old granddaughter who is an excellent reader. She lived it! Very appropriate topics for a third, fourth or fifth grader.
Published 19 hours ago by Carol Allebach
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book for your 4th to 7th grade child
I had not read this book by this author but love her writing. I try to. Choose literature that is high quality for the students that I tutor that will be of high interest. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Janis Pechenik
4.0 out of 5 stars ... recently read this book to my children and they loved it.
I recently read this book to my children and they loved it.
Published 2 days ago by CSM
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book was good. I loved how opal found Winn-Dixie in the house and he was in the house all along.
Published 4 days ago by Madison Montoya
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
like it
Published 5 days ago by stavr
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Book
My daughter had to read this book for a school assignment, so I decided to purchase it and read it with her. Read more
Published 5 days ago by P.L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good conditions.
Published 5 days ago by Idry
5.0 out of 5 stars This has been a favorite of my kids for years
This has been a favorite of my kids for years. They would recommend it to everyone. Keep some tissue near by though. It has happy and sad elements to it.
Published 7 days ago by momathome
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
made me cry.
Published 9 days ago by ganttmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Books
Great read aloud for 6-8 year olds.
Published 12 days ago by Gale Campbell
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More About the Author

Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Magician's Elephant, a New York Times bestseller; The Tale of Despereaux, which was awarded the Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, a Newbery Honor book; and six books starring Mercy Watson, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride. She lives in Minneapolis.

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