All I had wanted to do was
purchase a box of macaroni & cheese, some white rice and two tomatoes.
But then, I heard the store manager yelling, "Who let that dog in?
Who let that dirty dog in?"
I couldn't see anything but
rolling vegetables and Winn-Dixie employees waving their arms, until a
big, ugly dog skidded to a stop right in front of me and smiled.
What was a lonely 15 year old to do? I told the store manager he
was my dog and that his name was Winn-Dixie. So I don't think very
fast .. so what if the store's name is Winn-Dixie. Anyway, I yelled
"Here, boy! Here, Winn-Dixie!" And what was a stray dog to
do? He obediently came to me and smiled so hard that he sneezed.
It was love at first sight.
Now, I, India Opal Baloni,
of Naomi Florida need to convince my preacher Dad that we need a dog.
After all, my Mom isn't around, and I need company. And we all know
a dog can change your life, can't it? Read BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE,
by Kate DiCamillo. (New
Hampshire Great Stone Face Committee)
The day Opal was sent by her
preacher father to buy a box of macaroni-and-cheese and two tomatoes at
the Winn-Dixie grocery store, she returned home with a dog. As Opal tells
it, this is what happened. "The store manager was all red-faced, screaming,
and waving his arms around. 'Who let a dog in here?' There were a lot of
vegetables rolling around on the floor, 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. 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." That is the
beginning of Opal's and the entire town's love affair with this boisterous
friendly mongrel. This delightful story will make you smile from ear to
ear! The author won a Newbery Honor Medal for this book. (Jeannie
Young Reader's Choice Awards)
Ten-year-old Opal Buloni has
just moved to Florida where she doesn’t know anyone or have any friends
until she finds a stray dog at the grocery store. Winn-Dixie’s toothy
grin and sneezes win the hearts of anyone he meets. The only thing
Winn-Dixie doesn’t like is thunderstorms. At a party thrown by Opal
and her new friend Gloria Dump for all of their new friends, a sudden thunderstorm
comes up. Winn-Dixie is gone. Opal and her father search for
him but have no luck in finding him. “There ain’t no way you can
hold on to something that wants to go….You can only love what you got while
you got it.” After this Opal understands why her mother left her
and her father when she was just a small child. Will Opal and her
dad ever find Winn-Dixie? Will Opal feel happy again?
(Cappy Holman, firstname.lastname@example.org,
USC Graduate Student)
Some friends are good at listening
and talking, but Winn-Dixie could only listen. Well, he could bark.
And on occasion he would pant and whine, if he was afraid. But most
of the time he stuck close to Opal Buloni and just listened to her.
Opal first met the huge dog when he skidded to a stop in front of her and
smiled, after running around the Winn-Dixie grocery store. That's
how he got his name. The store manager threatened to call the pound
and Opal declared the dog was hers. “Here, Winn-Dixie,” she said;
and off he went with her to meet her daddy, the preacher.
Winn-Dixie was the first friend Opal made in Naomi, Florida. Since
moving there she had begun to miss her mother, who had left her and the
preacher when she was three-years-old. A quiet, withdrawn man, her
father missed her mother terribly, but never talked about her. It
was Winn-Dixie who gave Opal the courage to say to her father, “I've
been talking to [Winn-Dixie] and he agreed with me that, since I'm ten
years old, you should tell me ten things about my mama. Just ten
things, that's all. One thing for each year that I've been alive.”
And so the preacher did.
Winn-Dixie had a way about him, even if he couldn't talk. He would
help Opal meet other friends in Naomi, Florida. And he would help
her deal with her mother’s absence. Find out how a friend with four
legs and no conversation opened up a new world for a little girl.
(Gail A. King, email@example.com,
University of South Carolina)
If I asked everyone what their favorite animal was, I bet most everyone
would say dogs. It’s no wonder. They are soft and sweet and loving. Some
of the best commercials, tv shows, or children's movies feature dogs. Why?
The reason is people, especially kids, take one look into those sweet,
innocent eyes and fall madly in love. That's exactly what happened to India
When readers meet Opal, she is not a happy girl. She is new in town no
friends and living with the little conveniences her father's salary as
a preacher can afford her. She is missing the mother who abandoned her
more than ever before and finds it difficult to relate to her father at
times. In the most unlikely place, a local grocery store, Opal’s
quick thinking saves a starving dog from the pound. Opal doesn't know it
at the time, but this dog will save her too.
As time unfolds, Winn Dixie, as he is named, befriends Opal. He is her
constant companion and the two grow closer. At the same time, he also brings
many unusual characters into her life. Because of Winn Dixie, Opal befriends
a witch, a criminal, a prune-faced girl, and two rotten little bullies.
In exchange, Opal gains love and circle of caring. To find out how these
unlikely characters fill Opal’s lonely heart, read Because of Winn Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo.
This book earned a Newbery Honor in 2001 and SC Book Award in 2003. There
is even a movie in post-production due to be released. This book would
be a great source for many different things. First, the book could be used
for teaching point of view as it is written in first person narrative.
Second, it could be used to teach characterization as most of what the
characters say and do helps readers to better understand them. It could
be teamed with other books featuring a non-human main character to create
a themed unit of study. Certainly, once the movie debuts, there will be
another opportunity to compare and contrast the author’s work with that
of the screen writer. I don't usually like fiction or stories about dogs,
but this one touched me. I know it will speak to other hard to reach readers
too. (Zina L Watkins, firstname.lastname@example.org,
SLIS @ University of South Carolina, Columbia)
Here's a story of a girl named
India Opal. She has just moved to Florida with her father.
Opal does not have many friends, but that all changes when she meets a
stray dog at the grocery store. We have a turtle preacher, a couple
bald-headed babies, and a librarian with a passion for lozenges.
There are many other characters to meet along the way. Can Opal find
some new friends and will it really be all Because of Winn-Dixie?
You have to read this exciting, touching, and often funny story to find
out! (Justin Hamma, email@example.com, college student)
Why hello there my name is
Opal and I just moved to a new town with my dad who is the preacher in
this here town. When I first got to this town I was feeling pretty lonely
until one day I was at a store and there was a stray dog in it. The owner
was mad so I said she was mine. That is how I got Winn-Dixie because it
was the name of the store. She was my first real friend and helped me make
so many more. She is a really great dog I also think that she helped me
talk to my Dad about my mom. She left me and my father and it has been
hard to understand why. Winn-Dixie has helped me more then she will ever
know. We are throwing a party with all the new friends we've made together.
At the party it started to rain and thunder. Everyone ran inside but when
I went to go find Winn-Dixie she was not there. If I don't find her I don't
know what I will do! Read Because of Winn-Dixie written by Kate Dicamillo
to find out what happens. (Renee Guill, firstname.lastname@example.org, college student)
"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."
While Opal was in the Winn-Dixie
grocery store, a stray dog came running around the corner that fell to
a stop and smiled right at her. Opal not being able to think on her
feet, quickly said "Here, Winn-Dixie".
Winn-Dixie became Opal's first
friend in Naomi Florida and was a really good listener who could bark and
occasionally whine. Moving to a new town, Opal began to miss her
mother, who abandoned her and the preacher when she was only three years
old. Winn-Dixie helped Opal find the courage to ask her father
to tell her ten things about her mother. That's all Opal wanted,
was to know one thing about her mama for each year that she has been alive.
So the preacher shared ten facts about her mother and Opal was satisfied,
at least for now. Although Winn-Dixie is just a dog; he helped her
befriend a witch, a criminal, a pinch-faced girl, and two big bald-headed
babies. Read Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo to find out how a dog and
her new friends help fill Opal's lonesome self. (Maggie Callaghan,
email@example.com, college student)
Imagine that you are sent to
the grocery store to get food for supper and when you get there you find
the manager and his employees screaming and waving their hands. Then
out of nowhere a dog appears and he looks at you and he gives you a huge
smile and shows his teeth like you have never seen a dog do before.
This is only one of the very exciting scenes that happen in the book, Because
of Winn- Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.
The story starts out
with a girl named India Opal Buloni. She and her dad have just moved
to Naomi, Florida so that he could be the preacher at Open Arms Baptist
Church. Opal as she was called was a lonely girl and when she found
Winn Dixie he became her new friend. With the help of Winn Dixie
she begins to make more friends and slowly becomes less lonely. There
are many events that make you feel like you are in the book along with
Opal and Winn Dixie. One that I will share is during thunderstorms
and Winn Dixie got scared and he put on a show for Opal and her father
but for him it was a panic attack. Read the book and you will find
out what happen in more detail and how they overcame his fear of thunderstorms.
Also, Opal thinks about her mom a lot and how she left them when she was
three and hopes that she will come back. While reading you meet Gloria
Dump Buloni. Is that her mom? Well you have to read the book to find
out for yourself. (Megan Henson, MA-Henson@wiu.edu, college student)
Booktalk # 10
"Hi, I'm Opal! I'm from a small
town in southern Florida. I found a dog the other day in a grocery store.
I pretended he was mine and called him Winn-Dixie. My dad almost didn't
approve since we live in a small trailer together. However, with a little
convincing, he let me keep him. Things were about to change around my town.
Just wait until you see the adventures I have with my new dog and how my
life changed...because of Winn-Dixie.
Because of Winn-Dixie is a
contemporary realistic fiction children's novel written by Kate DiCamillo.
This book won the Newberry Honor Award in 2001 and will truly capture readers
with the heartfelt emotions of the little southern belle, Opal. (Tara
Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org, college student)
Well, hello there! That is
just Winn-Dixie I’m calling after, my crazy best friend, and my name is
Opal. I am ten years old and moved to Naomi, Florida with my father just
a short time ago. My father says it is not polite to ask, but I’ve got
to, have you ever lost a loved one in your life? Well, I have, and I know
what you are thinking… how sad for a ten year old to experience that, but
it is okay, Winn-Dixie found me and oh boy, has my life been changing ever
since! If you’d like to hear about how I became friends with a witch, criminal,
a prune faced girl, two bully boys, and other people in this small town
all with the help of my dog, then you should check out my story written
by Kate DiCamillo. It is an exciting realistic fiction story titled Because
of Winn Dixie and yep, that is right, my dog and I are the stars of the
story! So what are you waiting for? Find out how I overcame the emotions
of being a lost girl with the help of a lost dog who found himself by finding
me. (Sadie Keefauver, email@example.com, college student)