Because of Winn-Dixie (paperback)
by Kate DiCamillo
AR Level 3.9, 3 points
Because of Winn-Dixie is another of Kate DiCamillo’s stories where her voice and style is strong. It was very similar to Raymie Nightingale in that the main character, India Opal, is a lonely child who is down a parent while the remaining parent (her dad, a preacher) is suffering his own sense of loss and shuts Opal out. She is new to town and doesn’t have any friends yet, which makes her even more lonely, until she meets a dog who leads her to meet new friends. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal reconnects with her father and they realize they need to be supportive of one another.
What I like about this book is the language and thoughtfulness of the writing, and the life lessons that DiCamillo works into the storyline. For example, Opal dislikes several boys because of what they said about someone else, not her. She also isn’t sure whether to be afraid of a man because he’d been in jail. A friend of hers tells her, “you can’t always judge people by the things they done. You got to judge them by what they are doing now.” That is a good lesson or reminder not only for children (the intended audience), but for adults, as well.
What I did not like, and I shouldn’t say I didn’t like, because sometimes I do enjoy it, is the whimsical way the story flows. You are on a journey with Opal, and there isn’t a solid plot line until the end when you realize what the story was about. There isn’t a solid “problem” of the story and the conflict is internal. This isn’t always bad, but I’m sometimes not in the mood for it.
Book 13 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)