Because of Winn-Dixie

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This article is about the novel. For the 2005 film adaptation, see Because of Winn-Dixie (film).
Because of Winn-Dixie
Author Kate DiCamillo
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Candlewick Press
Publication date
March 2000
Media type Hardcover and Paperback
Pages 182 pp.
ISBN 0-7636-0776-2
OCLC 41601218
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.[1] In 2000, the book won the Josette Frank Award[2] and in 2003 won the Mark Twain Award.[3] Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."[4] It was one of the "Top 100 Chapter Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal.[5] It has been adapted as a 2005 family film, directed by Wayne Wang, produced by Walden Media and Twentieth Century Fox.[6]


A 10-year-old girl named Opal had just moved to a trailer park in the small town of Naomi, Florida, with her father. While in the supermarket, she sees a scruffy dog wrecking the store. Opal claims the dog is hers and asks her father to list ten things about her mother, who abandoned them. Miss Franny Block, a librarian, shares great stories about her past including one about her great-grandfather, whose family members 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, is unwilling to hire Opal as a cleaning girl, but she comes to work. When Opal finishes cleaning the windows, she and Winn-Dixie step into the store, and the animals panic when they see the big dog. Otis plays his guitar to calm them. Opal and recovering alcoholic Gloria decide to host a small party, inviting everyone they knew. They set up everything outside, but it starts to rain, so they bring the party inside. Opal can't find Winn-Dixie anywhere, even after searching the town. Ten minutes after she returns home, Winn-Dixie comes to Gloria's house and scratches at the door. They then continue the party by singing songs all together.


  1. ^ Newbery Medal winners
  2. ^ Josette Frank Award winners
  3. ^ Mark Twain Award winners
  4. ^ National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) Allmovie entry