Because of Winn-Dixie
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|Media type||Hardcover and Paperback|
|Followed by||The Tiger Rising|
Because of Winn-Dixie is a children's novel written by Kate DiCamillo which was published in 2000 and the winner of a Newbery Honor distinction the following year. In 2000, the book won the Josette Frank Award and in 2003 won the Mark Twain Award. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children." It was one of the "Top 100 Chapter Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal. It has been adapted as a 2005 family film, directed by Wayne Wang, produced by Walden Media and Twentieth Century Fox.
A 10-year-old girl named Opal just moved to a trailer park in the small town of Naomi, Florida with her father. While in the supermarket, she saw a scruffy dog that was wrecking the store. She claimed the dog was hers. Opal asked her father to list ten things about her mother, who had abandoned them. Miss Franny Block, shared great stories about her past. Her tales included one about her great-grandfather, whose family members had died while he was fighting the South in the Civil War. He invented Littmus Lozenge candies which tasted like a root beer and strawberry but included a secret ingredient — sorrow. Anyone who tasted the candies tasted sweetness mixed with sadness. In Because of Winn-Dixie, these candies symbolize that even though life sometimes deals people a bit of sadness, there is always much to appreciate.
Otis, owner of the pet shop, was a worker who was unwilling to hire Opal as a cleaning girl, but she came to work. She was already cleaning the windows while Otis was sitting on the floor playing his guitar. When Opal had finished the windows, she and Winn-Dixie stepped into the store and she saw Otis sitting on the floor. All the animals started panicking when they saw the big furry dog. Birds were flying across the room. Otis again played the guitar and the animals calmed down. Then Opal went to visit Gloria. They decided to host a small party. They invited everyone they knew. They set up everything on a dark night outside, but when the party had just begun it started to rain. Everyone helped to bring the party inside. Then, Otis arrived with a gift. It was the collar Winn-Dixie had wanted from Gertrude's. When Opal received the gift, she couldn't find Winn-Dixie anywhere. She immediately ran outside looking for the dog. She called his name. A few minutes later, she ran to her house to tell her father the dog was missing. They looked all over the city of Naomi. Her father got tired and they returned home. Opal wouldn't give up on looking for her dog. Ten minutes later, they heard scratching on the door. And it was Winn-Dixie! The moment he walked in, the first thing he saw was his new collar.
- Newbery Medal winners
- Josette Frank Award winners
- Mark Twain Award winners
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) Allmovie entry