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Because of Winn-Dixie Paperback – February 10, 2009
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Through the love she gains from her new pet, a girl gains the courage to ask her father about the mother who abandoned them. "In this exquisitely crafted first novel [a Newbery Honor book], each chapter possesses an arc of its own and reads almost like a short story in its completeness," said PW in our Best Books of 2000 citation. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The story is told in first person by the protagonist, Opal. She's just moved Florida with her dad (whom she refers to as "the preacher" more than "my dad" when talking about him). Her mom isn't in the picture, and although we don't know her present situation, her absence is poignantly addressed, and we do learn some things about her. Opal and the preacher live in a trailer park, and he has set up his new church in an erstwhile convenience store. Opal's pretty lonely in her new town and is finding it hard to make friends. The book begins with her finding a mutt who's causing a ruckus in a Winn-Dixie. Not wanting the dog to get in trouble by the store manager, she pretends he is hers, claims that his name is the same as the store's, and brings him home and convinces her dad to keep him. Different things involving Winn-Dixie spark new opportunities and friendships for Opal.
I found Opal to be likeable and realistic. I loved how DiCamillo developed this character's emotions over time.
My almost-8-year-old son really liked the book. We read it together as a bedtime story, 1-3 chapters a night. I really liked the ending, but my husband and son weren't satisfied and felt like the story was meant to continue. Unlike some age-appropriate chapter books, this was one I could get into.
Most recent customer reviews
I loved it so much! I read it for school and wished I had read it before!!! So good!