Skip to main content

Book Review: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo


India Opal Buloni lives in a small town in Florida with her father, who is a preacher in the local church. She's a lonely girl who hasn't made many friends since moving to town. When she finds a stray dog in the grocery store, she decides to take him home and save him from a trip to the pound. As they spend their summer together, Winn-Dixie ends up saving Opal too.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is a children's novel written at the early fourth grade reading level. I recently spent several months reading and discussing the book with a group of second grade students. We all enjoyed this story of a girl and her dog. It actually explores a lot of deeper topics than I had expected. Opal's mother left when she was young, so there's a large emphasis on her wanting to know more about her mother. There is also a lot about her befriending various characters in the town, including the librarian, pet store clerk and a woman the local boys think is a witch.

Some of the themes the book explores include friendship, forgiveness, courage and compassion. I expect some aspects of the story went a bit over my group's head since they are on the young side for this book. But the main ideas that you should be kind and compassionate to others, and that you should judge people by who they are now, not by what they've done in the past seemed to resonate with the kids. They also liked the many funny scenes with Winn-Dixie and some of the other characters.

Overall, I'd recommend Because of Winn-Dixie to elementary kids who would like a fun book that has a bit more depth. Kids who are able to pay attention and comprehend at a higher level will get more out of it, but younger readers will still enjoy the story. There are some sad parts, but in the end, it is an uplifting book.

My Rating: 4/5

This review was written based on a copy of Because of Winn-Dixie that I borrowed from my daughter's teacher.

Comments

  1. I'd heard of the movie - and knew it was a book, but had no idea it was this interesting. Thanks for the thoughtful review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was different than I had expected. We all enjoyed it!

      Delete
  2. I watched this movie a long time ago and it was really sweet. I didnt know it was a book! <3 Bee @ Bee Reads Books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't watched the movie. Perhaps I'll watch it with my daughter. I think she'd like that.

      Delete
  3. You know, come to think of it, I don't think I ever read Because of Winn Dixie - I just saw the movie with my kids! Well, the movie was great, too.

    I love that you are doing this book group with the class!

    We also LOVED Tiger Rising and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by DiCamillo.

    Sue

    Book By Book

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to check those out. I didn't enjoy Tale of Despereaux, which is another of her books, so I was leery of Winn-Dixie. But I'm glad I read it because I did like it.

      Delete
  4. I didn't realize Because of Winn Dixie was a kids' book. I remember hearing of the movie but never saw it. Guess I'll have to pick it up for my elementary schooler. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you join us again this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! We watched the movie on the weekend and it was good too.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: No Story to Tell by KJ Steele

Victoria has been put down since the day she was born. First by her parents who were disappointed that she survived while her twin brother died. Then by her verbally abusive husband and his low-life friends. But soon an intriguing artist named Elliott arrives in town and starts encouraging Victoria to follow her dream of opening her own dance studio. She also begins to receive phone calls from a mysterious someone who gets her to open up about her past and face her true feelings.

In No Story to Tell, KJ Steele has captured the small-town atmosphere and brought these characters to life. From the victimized Victoria, to her drunk and obnoxious husband Bobby and his drunk and obnoxious friends, to all the side characters who you'd expect to encounter in a town like this ~ all are so realistic in both their actions and their voices. She has written a compelling story of an abused woman who thinks she is trapped in this loveless, miserable existence. But then she finds a spark of hope…

Book Review: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Title: I See You
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Genre: thriller
Published: February 21, 2017
Format: ebook (NetGalley)
Source: publisher
Buy on Amazon(affiliate link)


Have you ever felt like someone was watching you? You will after reading Clare Mackintosh's latest release I See You. Told from the perspectives of two women, one who appears to be targeted by a criminal and the other who is the police officer working the case, this psychological thriller will have you looking over your own shoulder by the end.

Zoe is a typical working mother who takes the Underground through London to her office every day. Like most commuters, she has a routine that she follows every day, leaving home at the same time, sitting in the same train car, taking the same route to work from the station. It's habit. But she starts to realize this may not be a good idea after seeing her own photo in an advertisement in the newspaper. Another woman who appears in the advertisement is murdered and Zoe starts to ge…