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Because of Winn-Dixieby Kate Dicamillo
Winner of the 2003 Young Reader's Choice Award, Junior Division
Synopses & Reviews
The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to a small town in Florida, Opal goes into a supermarket and comes out with a dog, a dog she spontaneously names Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher finally tells Opal ten things about her absentee mother — one for every year that Opal has been alive. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal meets Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart; and the ex-con Otis, who sets his pet-shop animals loose after hours and lulls them with his guitar.
Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie, or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns that friendship — and forgiveness — can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.
"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." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"[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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"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 (Starred Review)
"Poignant and delicately told." The New York Times Book Review
"[C]arefully touches on big issues: abandonment, loneliness, empathy and belonging." San Francisco Chronicle
"[A]n enchanting little book with a touch of magic, a cast of great characters, and a lot of real life and wisdom." Minneapolis Star Tribune
"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..." Orlando Sentinel
"It's the kind of book people love and tell their friends to read." Washington Post
"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." Newsday
Debut novelist Lisa Lewis Tyre vibrantly brings a small town and its outspoken characters to life, as she explores race and other community issues from both the Civil War and the present day.
Lou might be only twelve, but shes never been one to take things sitting down. So when her Civil War-era house is about to be condemned, shes determined to save it—either by getting it deemed a historic landmark or by finding the stash of gold rumored to be hidden nearby during the war. As Lou digs into the past, her eyes are opened when she finds that her ancestors ran the gamut of slave owners, renegades, thieves and abolitionists. Meanwhile, some incidents in her town show her that many Civil War era prejudices still survive and that the past can keep repeating itself if we let it. Digging into her past shows Lou that its never too late to fight injustice, and she starts to see the real value of understanding and exploring her roots.
A classic boy-and-dog tale in the tradition of Old Yeller
Tyrone "Li'l T" Roberts meets Buddy when his family's car accidentally hits the stray dog on their way to church. Buddy turns out to be the dog Li'l T's always wished for--until Hurricane Katrina comes to New Orleans and he must leave Buddy behind. After the storm, Li'l T and his father return home to find a community struggling to rebuild their lives--and Buddy gone. But Li'l T refuses to give up his quest to find his best friend. From the author of the BBYA Top Ten selection The Great Wide Sea comes a powerful story of hope, courage, and knowing when to let go.
About the Author
Kate DiCamillo was born in Philadelphia and moved with her family to Florida when she was five years old. "People talked more slowly and said words I had never heard before, like 'ain't' and 'y'all' and 'ma'am,' " she says, recalling her first impressions. "It was all so different from what I had known before, and I fell swiftly and madly in love." In her twenties, Kate DiCamillo moved to Minnesota, where the long winter helped inspire Because of Winn-Dixie. "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." I just started writing down what India Opal Buloni was telling me."
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