KidsPost review of ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’


C191-4 Opal (AnnaSophia Robb) forms a fast friendship with a stray dog she has rescued and named Winn-Dixie. Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner TM and © 2005 Twentieth Century Fox. All rights reserved. Not for sale or duplication. (suzanne tenner)
July 5, 2011

Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo.
Best for age 8 and older (but also makes a great read-aloud for younger kids). 182 pages.

There are some characters you like immediately, and India Opal Buloni is such a character. Say her name out loud (yes, it does sound like a lunch meat), and just try not to smile.

The fact that 10-year-old India can smile and make the reader smile is pretty remarkable. She has just left her friends to move to a trailer park in Florida with her father, who is a preacher. Her mom abandoned the family years before, and India knows that this still makes her father sad.

One day, the preacher sends India to the Winn-Dixie grocery store for a box of macaroni, and she comes back with a dog. “He was a big dog. And ugly. 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.”

You see, India has a way about her that makes everyone she meets want to smile.

And the people she meets in this book — including a librarian who tells wild stories, a blind woman with a “mistake tree” in her back yard and a man with a love of music who has been in jail — are so interesting and kindhearted that their love helps make India smile, too.

— Tracy Grant

SECTION: {section=lifestyle, subsection=kidspost}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=3, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=15, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=3, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=3, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=3, max_items_to_display_top=15, moderation_required=false}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=3, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=15, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=3, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!