Title: Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
ISBN/Publisher: 0-7445-7829-9/Walker Books
Age Group/Genre: 8 years old +/Children's
Ten year old India Opal Buloni, goes by the name of Opal. She brings home a dog she found and kind of saved from the Winn-Dixie store and quickly names him Winn-Dixie. Opal brings Winn-Dixie home to her Daddy and the two of them convince him that Winn-Dixie should stay with them.
Opal feels lonely because her mom left her when she was little. Opal can't really remember her mom, but asks her dad to remind her. And because Opal just moved to a new town in Florida, she has no friends. However, with Winn-Dixie, Opal meets people, those older than her, her age, and younger than her. She befriends old Gloria Dump, who is just about blind and known as a witch to the kids in the neighborhood. Then there's the librarian, who shares with Opal the stories of the town. But most of all, Winn Dixie and Opal, meet the other kids and the sense of community is found. Will this be enough for Opal? Will her new friends and daddy be enough for Opal to realize that she isn't alone in the world, even without a mom?
First off, the opening line to this book has to be one of my favorite starters, "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 really sets the stage and is something that I seem to not forget. Which has to be great writing.
Secondly, this is meant to be a kids book and I'm just about in my mid-20's (eek). But I lurved the book so much. This is the second DiCamillo book for me and she has yet to disappoint. Opal is a child that I wish I hung out with when I was a child and a kid that seems like fun. She has a great voice for this book. Also, the adults in this book are fun to read about too. All the characters are memorable.
I heart the fact that we see her grow as a child that has been through some tough times. And the moral of the story is beautiful. I can't wait to read Kate's other books and I think I want the movie version of this book.
I hope you read it (even if you are an adult) and I also hope you give this to a kid you lurve.
Favorite lines (besides the opener)...
Other people's tragedies should not be the subject of idle conversation. page 125
There ain't no way you can hold on to something that wants to go, you understand? You can ony love what you got while you got it. page 159
(This books was bought from a store called FullyBooked).