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243 of 255 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Because of Winn-Dixie" READ IT!
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...
Published on April 22, 2000 by Ann W.

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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Story, Overly Hyped
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...
Published on June 4, 2007 by A. Luciano


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243 of 255 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Because of Winn-Dixie" READ IT!, April 22, 2000
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Hardcover)
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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130 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming dog story full of grace and wisdom!, May 18, 2001
By 
Volkert Volkersz (Snohomish County, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Hardcover)
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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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winn-Dixie is a winner!, June 1, 2000
By 
D. Treiber (Lake Tahoe, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Hardcover)
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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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Okay Story, Overly Hyped, June 4, 2007
By 
A. Luciano (Lowell, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Paperback)
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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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because of an AWESOME BOOK!!!!!!!, October 15, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Hardcover)
Because of Winn-Dixie is the best book I've ever read!It is about a girl named India Opal who is new in Naomi Florida who is in desperate need of friends. Opal finds a stray dog at a Winn-Dixie grocery store who is also in need of a friend. Their lives change from that point on. This is a great story about friendship. You'll want to buy a dog after reading this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK!, May 23, 2002
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Paperback)
I rate this book five out of five dogs. Because of Winn-Dixie is a terrific story about as lonely girl, named Opal,and a stray dog, named Winn-Dixie, who change each other's lives. Winn-Dixie helps Opal make friends in her new home, Naomi, Florida. She moved there with her dad, the preacher, when he got a job there. Opal is lonely because her mom left when Opal was three. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal meets all sorts of new friends. I recommend this book to all people who love dogs. This book is special because it won the Newbery Honor Award in 2001. Winn-Dixie is the first book by the author, Kate DiCamillo, who works in a children's bookstore. I rate this book 5 out of 5 dogs and highly recommend it to all who like great stories about dogs--especially those who don't die at the end of the book!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because of Winn-Dixie, February 11, 2003
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Paperback)
Because of Winn-Dixie is a light-hearted story about a young girl named India Opal and the summer that changes her life. This is the summer that she gets her new dog, Winn-Dixie. One day in a Winn-Dixie supermarket, Opal stumbles across this funny looking and acting dog. Kate DiCamillo writes, "It's hard not to fall in love with a dog who has a good sense of humor". She is certainly right about that. Not only do we as readers come to love and wish we had this dog, but Winn-Dixie seems to attract all sorts of people in the book as well. This dog comes to help Opal meet many friends and to find out some interesting facts about her mother whom left when she was three years old. The friends that India meets are all very unique, yet believable. She becomes great friends with Miss Franny, the librarian whose family invented the sorrow-flavored litmus lozenge, Gloria Dump, who all the local children thought to be a witch, and Otis, the guitar-playing manager of the local pet shop. Through Opal's conversations with these individuals, we gain a lot of insight about their lives and their feelings. Otis tells Opal the story of why he was in prison, Miss Franny tells Opal about how she scared a bear away with a War and Peace novel, and Gloria discusses her ghost-scaring tree with her.
Overall, Winn-Dixie seems to give Opal that extra bit of courage to make friends in her new town. Kate DiCamillo creates an authentic setting in Naomi, Florida, where the reader can experience the life of Opal the summer she was 10 years old. The book also has several developed themes such as friendship, hope, companionship, and new beginnings, which become apparent to the reader by the end of the story. All these components make Because of Winn-Dixie a book of high literary merit.
Because of Winn-Dixie has a great story line and allows the reader to really experience the hope and bonds of friendship that this 10-year old girl experiences during the summer that changed her life. Children who like to read books filled with humor and companionship would really enjoy this story of India Opal and her dog.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for all ages, March 27, 2000
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Hardcover)
One of the differences in the children's book world is that everyone always asks, "What age is the book good for?" We never ask this of adult books. Here is a book for any age. Anyway, this is a wonderful, warm book about survival and rebuilding. Opal,the young protagonist and her adopted dog, Winn-Dixie, both have to rebuild trust after betrayal. The setting is sultry Florida and the town is Any Small Town in America. The community that Opal discovers and the forgiveness she must extend will captivate all readers to the very end. I would compare this with Dicey's Song and with Clyde Edgerton's prose. I will give this book as a gift to ten year olds and anyone else, of any age, who can read!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Because of Winn Dixie, June 3, 2003
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Because of Winn-Dixie (Paperback)
Because of Winn Dixie is a story of a young girl named India Opal Buloni. Opal lives with her father-the preacher- in a trailor park in Naomi, Florida. One day, Opal goes to the grocery store and she finds a big, ugly, dirty dog knocking over all the displays. The store manager asked who's dog it was and Opal told him he was hers. That was how it started. Opal didn't have many friends because she had just moved there, and then she found the dog who she named Winn Dixie, after the grocery store where she found him. She took the dog home and became friends with him. What she liked most about Winn Dixie was the way he could smile at her. Opal started making many new friends because of Winn Dixie. The dog didn't like to be alone so he went everywhere with her and he liked everyone and everyone liked him too. Because of Winn Dixie was an enjoyable book to read. A lot of things changed in Opal's life because of Winn Dixie. I think a lot of people could relate to Opal because a lot of people don't have a lot of friends because they moved and left their friends behind. I reccomend this book to anyone who enjoys adventures and happy endings!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A POIGNANT REMINDER OF THANKFULNESS, February 26, 2001
Florida born author Kate DiCamillo has written a thoughtful lesson in thankfulness, and Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones has provided it with an understanding voice.
Ms. Jones, a stage and screen actress, brings ten-year-old India Opal Buloni to affecting life. India is lonely when she moves to a small Florida town with her minister father. She's friendless until she finds a stray dog that she names Winn-Dixie after the supermarket where they found each other.
Winn-Dixie, she finds, attracts an unusual group whom India befriends. In the process, the young girl adjusts to her new life and discovers all that there is to be thankful for.
We thank both Kate DiCamillo and Cherry Jones for this reminder.
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