Because of Winn-Dixie - book cover
Growing Up & Facts of Life
  • Publisher : Candlewick; Reprint edition
  • Published : 26 Jan 2021
  • Pages : 192
  • ISBN-10 : 1536214353
  • ISBN-13 : 9781536214352
  • Language : English

Because of Winn-Dixie

The classic heartwarming tale from Kate DiCamillo-now with an afterword from the beloved author, reflecting on twenty years in print

One summer's day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries-and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It's because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it's because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. This updated edition of Kate DiCamillo's classic novel invites readers to make themselves at home-whether they're experiencing the book for the first time or returning to an old favorite.

Editorial Reviews

"Take one disarmingly engaging protagonist and put her in the company of a tenderly rendered canine and you've got yourself a recipe for the best kind of down-home literary treat. Kate DiCamillo's voice in Because of Winn-Dixie should carry from the steamy, sultry pockets of Florida clear across the miles to enchant young readers everywhere." - Karen Hesse, author of the Newbery-award winner Out of the Dust

Readers Top Reviews

Iryna Tesamaggi
The book is not easy to read in the light of emotions because you live the story together with Opal. Her thoughts, relationships with other characters and her inner world - everything matters. It’s amazing story for the whole family as it carries many important messages and examples for the kids to learn.
AlexIryna Tesam
An easy read (written for young readers) for any age to enjoy. I loved it and I am 70 plus. It keeps your interest, page after page, with heart warming feelings, yet, a bit of heartache too at times. Wonderful experiences for all age groups included in the book, from small children to the very old. It includes a beloved dog and other animals. One can read it in an afternoon. It is simply a big winner.
Such a touching story for children and adults. Real life heartache and goodness portrayed with that southern quirkiness that makes the story so magical. The diverse cast of characters, including a dog, each have their unique trials to go through but find hope and clarity when their lives overlap. I whole heartedly recommend this book!
Jennifer LowryTru
From the very minute I read how Opal explained how she viewed the preacher (her daddy), I was captivated, yet again at the way Kate DiCamillo tells a story. Her words are melodic and meaningful, melancholy and hopeful all wrapped up between the pages of a must read novel. I loved it and read it in one sitting. This is the type of book you can’t put down. I challenge you to pick it up if you somehow missed reading this in your life.
Sophia W.Jennifer
As a fourth grade teacher, I have read this book with my classes for the past 3 years. The story is a winner - one of my favorites! It has everything you want an engaging story to have - a strong beginning, a sympathetic main character, an interesting plot that offers good discussion and opinion writing opportunities, and a dog! My one complaint, and the reason for the 4-star rating, is that this version was updated and includes a change that affected our ability to read the book aloud together easily. In the original, Miss Franny gives Opal a copy of Gone With the Wind to read to Gloria Dump. In this version, she gives her David Copperfield instead. That change caused several pages of the book to be different; therefore, harder for 9 and 10 year old kids to follow along (7 kids had the updated version and 16 had the original, which caused some confusion). In my opinion, this was an unnecessary change that was probably a political move.

Short Excerpt Teaser

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog. This is what happened: I walked into the produce section of the Winn-Dixie grocery store to pick out my two tomatoes and I almost bumped right into the store manager. He was standing there all red-faced, screaming and waving his arms around.

"Who let a dog in here?" he kept on shouting. "Who let a dirty dog in here?"

At first, I didn't see a dog. There were just a lot of vegetables rolling around on the floor, tomatoes and onions and green peppers. And there was what seemed like a whole army of Winn-Dixie employees running around waving their arms just the same way the store manager was waving his.

And then the dog came running around the corner. He was a big dog. And ugly. And he looked like he was having a real good time. His tongue was hanging out and he was wagging his tail. He skidded to a stop and smiled right at me. I had never before in my life seen a dog smile, but that is what he did. He pulled back his lips and showed me all his teeth. Then he wagged his tail so hard that he knocked some oranges off a display, and they went rolling everywhere, mixing in with the tomatoes and onions and green peppers.

The manager screamed, "Somebody grab that dog!"

The dog went running over to the manager, wagging his tail and smiling. He stood up on his hind legs. You could tell that all he wanted to do was get face to face with the manager and thank him for the good time he was having in the produce department, but somehow he ended up knocking the manager over. And the manager must have been having a bad day, because lying there on the floor, right in front of everybody, he started to cry. The dog leaned over him, real concerned, and licked his face.

"Please," said the manager. "Somebody call the pound."

"Wait a minute!" I hollered. "That's my dog. Don't call the pound."

All the Winn-Dixie employees turned around and looked at me, and I knew I had done something big. And maybe stupid, too. But I couldn't help it. I couldn't let that dog go to the pound.

"Here, boy," I said.

The dog stopped licking the manager's face and put his ears up in the air and looked at me, like he was trying to remember where he knew me from.

"Here, boy," I said again. And then I figured that the dog was probably just like everybody else in the world, that he would want to get called by a name, only I didn't know what his name was, so I just said the first thing that came into my head. I said, "Here, Winn-Dixie."

And that dog came trotting over to me just like he had been doing it his whole life.

The manager sat up and gave me a hard stare, like maybe I was making fun of him.

"It's his name," I said. "Honest."

The manager said, "Don't you know not to bring a dog into a grocery store?"

"Yes sir," I told him. "He got in by mistake. I'm sorry. It won't happen again.

"Come on, Winn-Dixie," I said to the dog.

I started walking and he followed along behind me as I went out of the produce department and down the cereal aisle and past all the cashiers and out the door.

Once we were safe outside, I checked him over real careful and he didn't look that good. He was big, but skinny; you could see his ribs. And there were bald patches all over him, places where he didn't have any fur at all. Mostly, he looked like a big piece of old brown carpet that had been left out in the rain.

"You're a mess," I told him. "I bet you don't belong to anybody."

He smiled at me. He did that thing again, where he pulled back his lips and showed me his teeth. He smiled so big that it made him sneeze. It was like he was saying, "I know I'm a mess. Isn't it funny?"

It's hard not to immediately fall in love with a dog who has a good sense of humor.

"Come on," I told him. "Let's see what the preacher has to say about you."

And the two of us, me and Winn-Dixie, started walking home.

Because of Winn-Dixie. Copyright (c) 2000 Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.