Because of Winn-Dixie

Written by Kate DiCamillo

Reviewed by Emily G. (age 9)

The book I'm recommending is Because of Winn Dixie. The author of my book is Kate DiCamillo, who has written so many wonderful books for young readers.

In the book Because of Winn Dixie, Opal and her father move to a Naomi and Opal doesn't have any friends yet. Her father had sent Opal to Winn Dixie (the grocery store) to buy some little items. But while she was at the grocery store a stray dog was loose and starts wandering off, causing many problems. The store manager complains "Who let that dog in my store?" but nobody answers. Then finally Opal steps up and claims the dog is hers. Then the manager starts asking Opal "What is the name of that dog?" Opal struggles, but then says "Winn Dixie." Steamed, the store manager lets Opal go home with the stray dog, the manager glad to be rid of the little terror. When Opal finally gets home she tells her father all about Winn Dixie and how wonderful he is. But Opals father says they can not keep Winn Dixie, but he could stay for a little while until Opal and her father found him a home. Will Opal get to keep Winn Dixie? After Opal won her father's trial, Opal meets a bunch of new friends like Otis who works at a pet shop, Gloria Dump who Opal thought was a witch, and Miss Franny Block who is a librarian. At the end of the book, Opal throws a big party for all her knew friends she has made in her new town. Many of these characters throughout the book help Opal confront many of her fears. During this wonderful celebration and unexpected thunderstorm hits town. Winn Dixie isn't a big fan of thunder storms and while everyone tries to stay dry he takes off. Finally Opal and her father realize Winn Dixie is gone. Opal and her father go searching for Winn Dixie. Will they ever find Winn Dixie?

In my book Because of Winn Dixie, I felt very excited. I was excited because I was always wondering the same thing. Will Opal get to keep Winn Dixie? Each sentence took me closer to the answer. In the book Opal changed very much. In the book characters change. For example, in the beginning Opal isn't happy about not having any friends. After she finds Winn Dixie, that changes. She meets new people she never even thought she would meet. All because of Winn Dixie. Also, Opal's father changes. When Opal first brought Winn Dixie home, her father said no. He thought Winn Dixie was dirty and disgusting. But after Opal's father found out how happy Winn Dixie made Opal and how smart the dog was, his feelings changed. He has grown very fond of Winn Dixie As I was reading this book I wondered if Opal and her father would keep Winn Dixie or would they give Winn Dixie away? My favorite part in this book was at the end when anther thunder storm arrived while Opal and her father, the Dewberry boys, Amanda, and a few other characters all had a smiling face and were singing. I knew that everything had gone well. I really found Opal interesting. This is because she always cared for everyone, like Winn-Dixie and Miss Franny Block. She took care of Winn-Dixie because when he caused chaos in the grocery store, Opal saved him from the pound. When Miss Franny thought there was a bear, Opal hugged her and comforted her, and made sure she was all right. I liked this book because it always made me happy because Opal never let go of Winn-Dixie and never gave up searching for him in her heart.

I recommend this book to children ages 8-11who have a heart for dogs and a mind for emotions. Children who love to be on an adventure with a great friend will love this book because Opal has a big mind of emotions and a huge heart not only to love a dog but to care for one too.

Emily G. is a student in Mr. Tobitsch's 4th Grade Class
2007-2008