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

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


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6-In this audio version of Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Honor book (Candlewick, 2000), ten-year-old Opal Buloni's life is changed for the better when she takes in a stray dog she finds running wild in a grocery store. With Winn-Dixie (named after the store she found him in) by her side, Opal starts to make friends in the small town of Naomi, Florida where she has recently moved. More importantly, she is able to come to terms with her feelings about her mother who abandoned her years earlier. Performed by Tony award-winning actress Cherry Jones, this is one of the few audio books that actually transcends the book itself. The story is presented through Opal's first person point of view, and Cherry Jones becomes southern-twanged Opal, sharing the story of her first summer in Naomi. Jones' seamless performance is honest and believable, and she pulls listeners in like a master storyteller. This great production of an award-winning book definitely belongs in every library audio collection.-Lori Craft, Itasca Community Library, IL (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.