October 08, 2011

Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

I had first seen the movie and never even realized it was a book. So, even though it is a children's book, I decided to give it a go. While I still think the movie is better, this wasn't a bad book.

India Opal has just moved to a small town with her father when he sends her to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Inside is a dog making chaos out of the produce department and in order to keep him from the animal shelter, she claims he is hers and is named Winn-Dixie. Her father allows her to keep the dog and together they start making new friends and learning. Most troublesome in Opal's life are her thoughts about her mother, who left when she was little, and she learns a lot from everyone on how to cope with her feelings.

The characters are a bit odd but mostly lovable. Winn-Dixie actually doesn't do a lot other than sneeze, but he acts as the inspiration for Opal to get out and meet people and kind of fills the tension for her when meeting someone new. The rest of the characters are a bit odd but for a kid's book they have pretty well developed pasts. The preacher was kind of depressing but he somewhat redeems himself throughout the book.

The writing is for kids, and as such its short. It would make a good bedtime story to be read chapter by chapter. It does have a tendency to jump around a bit and focus on slightly weird topics (like candy that makes you sad), but overall the theme of the book is coping with your emotions and I think that is a very good message to put out there.

I'm probably going to have to dig the movie up to watch it now since I do like it better. But this was a nice quick little read for a rainy day.

Because of Winn-Dixie
Copyright 2000
182 pages

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