Because of Winn-Dixie

Written by Kate DiCamillo

Reviewed by Noah S. (age 9) and Zachary G. (age 9)

The first thing India Opal Buloni thought when she moved to Naomi, Florida was "How will I make friends?" When India did a favor for her father (the preacher) by going to the store to buy a few things she came home thinking as if she had just won a prize. India Opal Buloni had just brought home a dog!

It all started when she walked into the Winn-Dixie grocery story. The owner was screaming at the top of his lungs, "WHO LET A DOG IN HERE? CALL THE POUND! CALL THE POUND!" India didn't want the dog to go the pound so she cried, "that's my dog."

The dog smelled as bad as a dead skunk, had bald spots all over, and is so skinny that his ribs show! It is India's job to get him into shape. But will her father let her keep him? With India's new companion can she make friends? This book won the Newberry Honor Award! My (Noah) favorite character was Otis. He works at Gertrude Pets. I liked him because we have a lot in common. We are both boys who like to go on vacations, we have brown hair, and we both play the guitar. My (Zach) favorite character was Winn-Dixie because he's like my dog Pepper. They both are trouble makers and they also both have a really good sense of humor. Some people think dogs can't smile, but mine can. He sticks his tongue out and shows all of his teeth.

This book reminds me (Noah) of the Hatchet series by Gary Paulsen because their parents are both divorced and the children hope they will get back together. This book reminds me (Zach) of the book, The Dog With Golden Eyes by Frances Wilbur because the main characters in each book are girls who are trying to save an animal.

I (Noah) liked how Kate Dicamillo describes everything that is important. For example, when the dog was tearing up the Winn-Dixie grocery store by messing up everything by knocking things off their shelves. I (Zach) liked Kate Dicamillo's writing style because she describes things in detail like when she described how thunder sounds. She wrote, "There was a far off rumble of thunder, it was so loud she thought it was Winn-Dixie's stomach growling."

I (Noah) had a favorite scene. It was when the dog was trashing up everything at the Winn-Dixie grocery store, because the author used a lot of action and it was pretty funny. I (Zach) also had a favorite scene. It was when the Dewberry boys kept arguing and making jokes about each other.

We recommend this book to people who love dogs and think they're special. Even if you don't like dogs, you may become interested in dogs after reading this book. If you own a dog or plan on getting one soon, you will love reading Because of Winn-Dixie.

Noah S. and Zachary G. are students in Mrs. Barbagallo's 3rd Grade Class
2001-2002