Because of Winn-Dixie
|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 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.
- 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