Because of Winn-Dixie by Sierra Boyajian
Meadows Elementary School
Because of Winn-Dixie
Report Written By:
The title of the book that I read is called Because of Winn-Dixie. It was written by Kate DiCamillo, and was published by Candlewick Press. The book’s copyright date is 2000 by Kate DiCamillo.
This story is about a ten year old girl named Opal who just moved to a small town with her father who is a preacher. Opal has no friends, and she feels alone and abandoned because her father is too busy with work, and she really misses her mother who left them when she was three. The only thing that Opal wants more than her mother is a friend. Until, one day she goes to the grocery store and finds a dirty brown shaggy-carpet-like stray dog which she rescues and names Winn-Dixie after the store. He becomes her best friend, and Opal’s life soon changes. She starts to make friends, learns not to judge others on first impressions, gets closer to her father, and even begins to understand why her mother left them. All of this happens because of Winn-Dixie.
My favorite part of the book is when Opal finds Winn-Dixie at the grocery store. The scene is very funny because of all the pandemonium that happens when the store employees try to catch Winn-Dixie. As they are chasing him in all directions, produce displays get knocked over, food is flying everywhere, and the employees are slipping and sliding and falling down on the fruits and vegetables on the floor. When the chase finally ends, the horrified store manager gets knocked down by Winn-Dixie and is given a lick on his face!
I think the most interesting part of the story is when Gloria Dump, Opal’s elderly, almost blind friend, shows Opal a large tree in her backyard with many bottles from its branches. Gloria shows the tree to her in order to answer Opal’s questions about whether or not she should be afraid of Otis, a good friend whom Opal has just found out was in jail at one time. Gloria explains to Opal that the bottles on this tree are to keep the ghosts of all that Gloria had done wrong or bad in her past away. Opal can’t believe it because she thinks that Gloria is the nicest person around. That’s when Opal learns that you can’t judge people by the things they have done, but by what they are doing now.
I love this story because it is both inspirational and fun. It teaches lessons about friendships that happen between unlikely people by looking beyond surface appearances. The story had likeable and funny characters, and even though Winn-Dixie can’t talk, he has a lot of personality, and you can feel him smiling! I highly recommend this book to young and old alike because I think it is enjoyable for all ages. You don’t need to love dogs to like this story, but I think it is true that a dog is man’s best friend!