Book info

Because Of Winn-Dixie (2001)

Because of Winn-Dixie (2001)
Author
Rating
3.97 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0763616052 (ISBN13: 9780763616052)
languge
English
publisher
candlewick
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Because Of Winn-Dixie (2001)
Because Of Winn-Dixie (2001)

About book: Oh, Winn-Dixie. Anyone who's ever had a really friendly dog, especially a really friendly ugly mutt, will tell you that every outlandish and wonderful thing that happens in the book is totally possible. Well, maybe not, but having a good dog is great and Winn-Dixie is just who Opal needs to kick-start her new life in a new town. The preacher is too busy with his new church to be Opal's best friend until school starts in the fall, and Opal's mother is gone and has been for a while. The preacher doesn't like to talk about her or why she left. But once she has Winn-Dixie, Opal isn't alone anymore. She tries out her ideas on him, tells him what she wants, and pours out her heart to him in ways she probably couldn't with another human being, and Winn-Dixie just gives her his goofy smile and unconditional adoration in the way that good dogs will do. It gives her the courage to talk to the guy at the pet store (Winn-Dixie does need a collar), the woman at the library (who thinks Winn-Dixie is a bear at first glance), the town "witch" (whose yard Winn-Dixie runs into in search of peanut butter), and various kids from her daddy's church who are drawn to Winn-Dixie or make fun of her about him. And Winn-Dixie gives Opal the courage to talk to the preacher about her mother. When Winn-Dixie is done working his magic, Opal has a whole cadre of people who love her.I wouldn't say that religion plays a huge role in Because of Winn-Dixie, at least not explicitly. Opal uses tenets of what her father teaches her both to her advantage and as goals to work towards. She gets to keep Winn-Dixie because he is "an unfortunate," and Christians are supposed to help the unfortunate. On the other hand, she has to be nice to pinch-faced Amanda because she not only goes to the preacher's church, but because something very sad happened to her in the past. And the preacher prays for a mouse that Winn-Dixie catches in the middle of his sermon but does not kill. :) Even though religion does not really factor into the storyline, this book is just as much about how Opal's relationship with the preacher changes as it is about a little girl and her dog. At the beginning of the book, in addition to calling her father "the preacher" in her head, Opal likens him to a turtle. He pulls his head back in his shell when things get hard to protect himself from everything, even his daughter. He's able to do that precisely because he spends so much time "preaching or thinking about preaching or getting ready to preach" (13). Throughout the course of the book, and with Winn-Dixie's help of course, the preacher learns not to shut out Opal but instead to open up to her.Overall this is a sweet book. There's not a lot of action, but there is a lot of storytelling as Opal gets to know all of her new friends. It can be episodic at times, but it all comes together in the end.For folks who refuse to read dog books: This isn't Old Yeller. There are some tough moments, but nothing compared to classic "dog stories" or, you know, The Knife of Never Letting Go. Book source: Holy Spirit Library at Cabrini College

This is a GREAT book! I think that it would be best used in a classroom that goes all the way up to high school. It has a moral that is great for young kids to read and maybe even learn about themselves as well as others after reading it. When kids see how hard it was for Opal moving and not having any friends and being so lonely that see befriends a stray dog I think that after reading this book it will help kids maybe look at other people in their lives and maybe see someone who is not as popular and befriend them or maybe try and be nicer to bullied kids. Another thing that I think may help show people is that no matter how bad of a family situation you have, you are not alone. Not everyone’s parents are like The Cleavers or any other stereotypical “All-American Family”. It is diversity that makes us as a civilization interesting. Maybe after reading the book they can understand that communication is something that comes natural to everyone especially our parents. No parent wants to feel like they have failed their child or not fought hard enough for something they love, like Opals father undoubtedly felt. The first time I read this book was when I was a sophomore in high school and at that time my father and I were not speaking, although it was another six months or so before we began a healthy relationship again I truly believed it helped me in some way to fix things with my dad. It is a wonderful book for people of all ages really!
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Reviews
Deanna
Because of Winn-Dixie is such a beautiful and enchanting book. I loved reading this with my daughter. I am glad she was a little bit older when we read it (I think she was about 8) as it may have been a little heavy for her if she had been much younger. Although it I guess it depends on the child.Young Opal has just moved to Florida with her father (a preacher) and is lonely for her mother who left the family seven years before. On a trip to the supermarket (Winn-Dixie) she rescues a dog getting into trouble inside. Opal becomes her best friends and together they meet many wonderful characters over the summer. She loves all of the stories from her new friends like the town librarian, a local woman who is rumored to be a witch as well as a guitar-playing ex-con pet store clerk. These characters and their stories help Opal to start to connect with other children, help deal with her loss and sadness and even realize that others may be dealing with loss and sadness of their own. This book deals with such important themes - grief, hope, acceptance, loss and friendship. It has many lessons about people and how we should try to not judge by appearances. The power that love has in helping deal with loss and coping with real life. I myself have a great love of animals and believe in their healing power. It was a really nice book to read with my daughter and we had many discussions as we read. The story pulled us both in. The writing is great and the story is captivating. A wonderful novel that I would recommend for all ages.
Zeek
10 yr old Opal is sent to the grocery store by her father, the preacher, to pick up rice, two tomatoes and a box of mac N cheese. Instead she brings home Winn-Dixie- a big scruffy stray dog who caused trouble right in the middle of the vegetable isle of the Winn-Dixie supermarket- (hence Opal's impromptu naming of the dog.)Because of Winn Dixie- is a perfect title for this brief book, because it's because of Winn-Dixie that so many things turn out okay for motherless Opal- from the making of friends in the new town they just moved too- eclectic though they may be- to the reason she and her father finally address the issue of the runaway woman who left a hole in both their lives.
Amanda
Because of Winn-Dixie is about a girl who has moved to a new town during the summer. It's hard to make friends when you move, and its even harder when you move when school's out. But when she adopts a stray dog, who she christens Winn-Dixie, she finds it a little easier to reach out to people. She begins to make friends with many people and realizes that other people in the town have their own sadness and need friends too.This is a very sweet book, but it is also very simple. There are a lot of good scenes, but everything comes together at the end without any problems. While most of the characters have fairly detailed pasts and have lived in town their entire lives, they seem unaware of each other in a way that is difficult to believe for two eighty-year-old women who have always lived near each other.This is a good book for children and a nice story, but it doesn't reach the literary standards of better books, and the way everything comes together is overly simplistic. It is a good read, but not a great book.
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