Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

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I’m not sure what I was expecting this book to be about, but it was full of surprises. I read this aloud to my older two children, and they both enjoyed it. I don’t care for dogs, but my children like them, so we checked out this book for the kids, but I enjoyed it as much as they did. Just in case you are worried that my kids won’t ever have a dog because of me, don’t be concerned. My in-laws (with whom we share land) have two dogs that can often be found sleeping on our front porch or in our flower beds. Our 16 month old twins absolutely love the dogs, and the older kids play with them too.

Because of Winn-Dixie is a poignant story told by a young girl as she chronicles what happened the summer she moved to Naomi, Florida, and met a dog that she named Winn-Dixie. Opal befriends a variety of people throughout the book and learns some things about herself in the process. She gives credit to the dog (thus the title) for everything that happened that summer, but she had more to do with it than she realized.

The story moves quickly and keeps you engaged throughout the whole book. It is rich with dialogue, and I couldn’t help but read it aloud with a southern accent. My children learned a little about the South during the Civil War and were introduced to Gone with the Wind. Maybe one day we will read that one together. I plan to always read books aloud to my children, so why not?

We thought this Newbery Honor book was fantastic. It is a great read for young (around 6 years and up) and old, dog lovers and the rest of us, children and parents. Kate DiCamillo is a talented author. I also read her book, The Tale of Despereaux to my son a few years ago, and we believe the book is always better than the movie, although “The Tale of Despereaux” was great. We haven’t watched “Because of Winn-Dixie” yet, but we plan to do so soon.

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