Cover image for Because of Winn-Dixie
Title:
Because of Winn-Dixie
Author:
DiCamillo, Kate.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
[182] pages ; 19 cm
Summary:
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.
General Note:
Paging may vary slightly.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
610 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.9 3.0 39557.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 7 Quiz: 21620 Guided reading level: R.
ISBN:
9780763607760

9780763616052

9780763650070

9780763625580

9780763680862

9780763644321
UPC:
732483006056
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

An unforgettable first novel about coming of age one sweet summer--and learning to love what you have.

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.


Author Notes

Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1964. She received an English degree from the University of Florida. At the age of thirty, she moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and worked for a book warehouse on the children's floor. After working there for four and a half years, she fell in love with children's books and began writing. DiCamillo wrote the 2001 Newbery-honor book, Because of Winn-Dixie, which was adapted into a film in 2005. In 2004, she won the Newbery Medal for The Tale of Despereaux, which was also adapted into a movie in 2008, and for Flora and Ulysses in 2013. Her other works include the Mercy Watson series, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and The Magician's Elephant. She was named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress for the term 2014-2015.

Kate's title, Raymie Nightingale, mde the New York Times bestseller list in 2016.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-6. Like Kimberly Willis Holt's When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (1999), this novel joins the long tradition of fiction exploring a small southern town's eccentric characters. It's summer, and 10-year-old India Opal Buloni moves with her preacher father to tiny Naomi, Florida. She's lonely at first, but Winn-Dixie, the stray dog of the title, helps her befriend a group of lovable, quirky locals, eventually bringing her closer to her father and the truth about her mother, who left the family when India was 3. Told in India's sensitive, believable voice, the story is most successful in detailing the appealing cast of characters, including Otis, an ex-convict, musician, and pet store manager; Miss Franny, a Willie Wonkaesque librarian whose "Litmus Lozenges" candies taste like sorrow; and nearly blind Gloria Dump, whose tree hung with empty liquor bottles reminds her of "the ghosts of all the things I done wrong." While some of the dialogue and the book's "life lessons" can feel heavy-handed, readers will connect with India's love for her pet and her open-minded, free-spirited efforts to make friends and build a community. --Gillian Engberg


Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-India Opal Buloni, 10, finds a big, ugly, funny dog in the produce department of a Winn-Dixie grocery store. She names him accordingly and takes him home to meet her father, a preacher. Her daddy has always told her to help those less fortunate, and surely Winn-Dixie is in need of a friend. Opal needs one, too. Since moving to Naomi, FL, she has been lonely and has been missing her mother more than usual. When she asks her father to tell her 10 things about her mother, who left the family when Opal was three, she learns that they both have red hair, freckles, and swift running ability. And, like her mother, Opal likes stories. She collects tales to tell her mother, hoping that she'll have a chance to share them with her one day. These stories are lovingly offered one after another as rare and polished gems and are sure to touch readers' hearts. They are told in the voice of this likable Southern girl as she relates her day-to-day adventures in her new town with her beloved dog. Do libraries need another girl-and-her-dog story? Absolutely, if the protagonist is as spirited and endearing as Opal and the dog as lovable and charming as Winn-Dixie. This well-crafted, realistic, and heartwarming story will be read and reread as a new favorite deserving a long-term place on library shelves.-Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog. This is what happened: I walked into the produce section of the Winn-Dixie grocery store to pick out my two tomatoes and I almost bumped right into the store manager. He was standing there all red-faced, screaming and waving his arms around. "Who let a dog in here?" he kept on shouting. "Who let a dirty dog in here?" At first, I didn't see a dog. There were just a lot of vegetables rolling around on the floor, tomatoes and onions and green peppers. And there was what seemed like a whole army of Winn-Dixie employees running around waving their arms just the same way the store manager was waving his. And then the dog came running around the corner. He was a big dog. And ugly. And he looked like he was having a real good time. His tongue was hanging out and he was wagging his tail. He skidded to a stop and smiled right at me. I had never before in my life seen a dog smile, but that is what he did. He pulled back his lips and showed me all his teeth. Then he wagged his tail so hard that he knocked some oranges off a display, and they went rolling everywhere, mixing in with the tomatoes and onions and green peppers. The manager screamed, "Somebody grab that dog!" The dog went running over to the manager, wagging his tail and smiling. He stood up on his hind legs. You could tell that all he wanted to do was get face to face with the manager and thank him for the good time he was having in the produce department, but somehow he ended up knocking the manager over. And the manager must have been having a bad day, because lying there on the floor, right in front of everybody, he started to cry. The dog leaned over him, real concerned, and licked his face. "Please," said the manager. "Somebody call the pound." "Wait a minute!" I hollered. "That's my dog. Don't call the pound." All the Winn-Dixie employees turned around and looked at me, and I knew I had done something big. And maybe stupid, too. But I couldn't help it. I couldn't let that dog go to the pound. "Here, boy," I said. The dog stopped licking the manager's face and put his ears up in the air and looked at me, like he was trying to remember where he knew me from. "Here, boy," I said again. And then I figured that the dog was probably just like everybody else in the world, that he would want to get called by a name, only I didn't know what his name was, so I just said the first thing that came into my head. I said, "Here, Winn-Dixie." And that dog came trotting over to me just like he had been doing it his whole life. The manager sat up and gave me a hard stare, like maybe I was making fun of him. "It's his name," I said. "Honest." The manager said, "Don't you know not to bring a dog into a grocery store?" "Yes sir," I told him. "He got in by mistake. I'm sorry. It won't happen again. "Come on, Winn-Dixie," I said to the dog. I started walking and he followed along behind me as I went out of the produce department and down the cereal aisle and past all the cashiers and out the door. Once we were safe outside, I checked him over real careful and he didn't look that good. He was big, but skinny; you could see his ribs. And there were bald patches all over him, places where he didn't have any fur at all. Mostly, he looked like a big piece of old brown carpet that had been left out in the rain. "You're a mess," I told him. "I bet you don't belong to anybody." He smiled at me. He did that thing again, where he pulled back his lips and showed me his teeth. He smiled so big that it made him sneeze. It was like he was saying, "I know I'm a mess. Isn't it funny?" It's hard not to immediately fall in love with a dog who has a good sense of humor. "Come on," I told him. "Let's see what the preacher has to say about you." And the two of us, me and Winn-Dixie, started walking home. Because of Winn-Dixie. Copyright (c) 2000 Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA. Excerpted from Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.