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Because of Winn-Dixie
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About the Author

Kate DiCamillo says of writing BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, "I was living in an apartment where no dogs were allowed. As a result, I was suffering from a serious case of 'dog withdrawal.' One night, before I went to sleep, I heard this little girl's voice (with a Southern accent) say, 'I have a dog named Winn-Dixie.' When I woke up the next morning, the voice was still talking, and I started writing down what India Opal Buloni was telling me. The book is (I hope) a hymn of praise to dogs, friendship, and the South."

Reviews

Gr 4-6-In this audio version of Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Honor book (Candlewick, 2000), ten-year-old Opal Buloni's life is changed for the better when she takes in a stray dog she finds running wild in a grocery store. With Winn-Dixie (named after the store she found him in) by her side, Opal starts to make friends in the small town of Naomi, Florida where she has recently moved. More importantly, she is able to come to terms with her feelings about her mother who abandoned her years earlier. Performed by Tony award-winning actress Cherry Jones, this is one of the few audio books that actually transcends the book itself. The story is presented through Opal's first person point of view, and Cherry Jones becomes southern-twanged Opal, sharing the story of her first summer in Naomi. Jones' seamless performance is honest and believable, and she pulls listeners in like a master storyteller. This great production of an award-winning book definitely belongs in every library audio collection.-Lori Craft, Itasca Community Library, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

DiCamillo's debut novel, a 2001 Newbery Honor Book, percolates with heartfelt emotion and eccentric Southern color as superbly performed by Tony Award-winning actress Jones. Ten-year-old Opal, lonely in the Florida town where she has just moved with her preacher father, instantly takes a shine to a scraggly stray dog she encounters in the local Winn-Dixie supermarket. The pooch, named for their meeting place, becomes a trusted companion with whom Opal can share her thoughts and fears, and her hurt, confused feelings about the mother who left the family when Opal was three. Winn-Dixie is soon helping Opal in other ways, too. The dog's "smile" and sweet temperament act as ice breakers that allow Opal to meet a whole new group of friends who grow to be an unusual extended family. Jones imbues her depiction of Opal with a tone of youthful, hopeful wonder and skillfully transforms her voice to distinguish the other older, life-weathered characters. A Tennessee native, she never sounds hokey as she adopts a Southern accent, and she effortlessly slips into a compelling storytelling rhythm. This is a top-notch treatment of an award-winning tale. Ages 8-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review
09/06/2000
"Brush strokes of magical realism elevate this beyond a simple story of friendship to a well-crafted tale of community and fellowship, of sweetness, sorrow, and hope. And it's funny, too. A real gem." --------
Publishers Weekly, starred review
09/06/2000 .,."
[E]xquisitely crafted first novel. Each chapter possesses an arc of its own and reads almost like a short story in its completeness; yet the chapters add up to much more than a sum of their parts. . . This bittersweet tale of contemporary life in a small Southern town will hold readers rapt." --------
School Library Journal, starred review
09/06/2000
"This well-crafted, realistic, and heartwarming story will be read and reread as a new favorite deserving a long-term place on library shelves." --------
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
12/01/2000
Selected titles were chosen by the editors based on the following criteria: strength of story line, clarity or presentation, quality of illustration, and estimated appeal to children or adolescents. "A heartfelt story that is sure to touch a chord with readers." --------
Horn Book Guide, The
06/01/2000
"A gentle book about good people coming together to combat lonliness and heartache--with a little canine assistance." --------
New York Times Book Review, The
09/06/2000
"Poignant and delicately told." --------
Star Tribune
08/27/2000
Minneapolis, MN Circ = 682,000
"an enchanting little book with a touch of magic, a cast of great characters, and a lot of real life and wisdom." --------
Five Owls, Book of Merit
11/01/2000
"Children will enjoyOpal's abiding humor and Winn-Dixie's disarming and endearing ways, and the funny and important things that happen when the two of them get together." --------
San Francisco Chronicle
11/19/2000
circ=709,000
." . . carefully touches on big issues: abandonment, loneliness, empathy and belonging." --------
Teaching K-8
08/01/2002
"It's rare to recommend a book for all ages but here we have BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE by Kate DiCamillo." --------
Orlando Sentinel
12/08/2002
"Both kids and grown-ups love it . . . it's a great read-aloud book . . . it has scooped up numerous awards . . . it's an unforgettable story about making friends . . ." --------
Washington Post
10/10/2002
"It's the kind of book people love and tell their friends to read." --------
Star Tribune
02/18/2005
Minneapolis, MN Circ = 682,000
"DiCamillo doesn't shy from bad things, and while she validates a child's sense of grief and loss, she also hold open life's possibilities." --------
Book Links
09/01/2002
"In this Newbery Honor Book, the author skillfully weaves a variety of characters together to show the meaning of friendship." --------
Book Links
03/01/2007
"This lively coming-of-age story touches on friendship, loss, and understanding." --------
Midwest Book Review
02/01/2006
"An honest, well written story that will tug at your heart." --------
Newsday
02/17/2005 .
"The books' truthfulness is what makes it so powerful. People can identify with the fact that everyone sort of isolates themselves because of a misconnection or a loss or whatever is in their lives." --------
Scholastic Administrat@r Magazine
01/01/2007
circ=100,000
Featured in list of the top 10 children's chapter books of the last 25 years.
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
09/06/2000
"Brush strokes of magical realism elevate this beyond a simple story of friendship to a well-crafted tale of community and fellowship, of sweetness, sorrow, and hope. And it's funny, too. A real gem." --------

Publishers Weekly, starred review

09/06/2000 ..".
[E]xquisitely crafted first novel. Each chapter possesses an arc of its own and reads almost like a short story in its completeness; yet the chapters add up to much more than a sum of their parts. . . This bittersweet tale of contemporary life in a small Southern town will hold readers rapt." --------

School Library Journal, starred review
09/06/2000
"This well-crafted, realistic, and heartwarming story will be read and reread as a new favorite deserving a long-term place on library shelves." --------

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
12/01/2000
Selected titles were chosen by the editors based on the following criteria: strength of story line, clarity or presentation, quality of illustration, and estimated appeal to children or adolescents. "A heartfelt story that is sure to touch a chord with readers." --------

Horn Book Guide, The
06/01/2000
"A gentle book about good people coming together to combat lonliness and heartache--with a little canine assistance." --------

New York Times Book Review, The
09/06/2000
"Poignant and delicately told." --------

Star Tribune
08/27/2000
Minneapolis, MN Circ = 682,000
"an enchanting little book with a touch of magic, a cast of great characters, and a lot of real life and wisdom." --------

Five Owls, Book of Merit
11/01/2000
"Children will enjoy Opal's abiding humor and Winn-Dixie's disarming and endearing ways, and the funny and important things that happen when the two of them get together." --------

San Francisco Chronicle
11/19/2000
circ=709,000
." . . carefully touches on big issues: abandonment, loneliness, empathy and belonging." --------

Teaching K-8
08/01/2002
"It's rare to recommend a book for all ages but here we have BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE by Kate DiCamillo." --------

Orlando Sentinel
12/08/2002
"Both kids and grown-ups love it . . . it's a great read-aloud book . . . it has scooped up numerous awards . . . it's an unforgettable story about making friends . . . " --------

Washington Post
10/10/2002
"It's the kind of book people love and tell their friends to read." --------

Star Tribune
02/18/2005
Minneapolis, MN Circ = 682,000
"DiCamillo doesn't shy from bad things, and while she validates a child's sense of grief and loss, she also hold open life's possibilities." --------

Book Links
09/01/2002
"In this Newbery Honor Book, the author skillfully weaves a variety of characters together to show the meaning of friendship." --------

Book Links
03/01/2007
"This lively coming-of-age story touches on friendship, loss, and understanding." --------

Midwest Book Review
02/01/2006
"An honest, well written story that will tug at your heart." --------

Newsday
02/17/2005 .
"The books' truthfulness is what makes it so powerful. People can identify with the fact that everyone sort of isolates themselves because of a misconnection or a loss or whatever is in their lives." --------

Scholastic Administrat@r Magazine
01/01/2007
circ=100,000
Featured in list of the top 10 children's chapter books of the last 25 years.

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