India Opal Buloni went to the store to buy a box of macaroni and cheese, rice, and two tomatoes. But she never expected to come back with a new dog that would change her life. Find out what things happened to her in Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.
Because of Winn-Dixie, there was a big ruckus in the store. Employees were running around, waving their arms. The store manager was screaming mad. And then a big, ugly, scraggly dog came running around the corner.
“He skidded to a stop and smiled right at me. I had never before in my life seen a dog smile, but that is what he did. He pulled back his lips and showed me all his teeth.”
Before you know it, India said it was her dog. She couldn’t help herself. She didn’t want it to go to the pound.
She named him Winn-Dixie, after the store they were in. Then the two of them walked home.
India and her father, the preacher, had just moved to town, so she had no friends. Because of Winn-Dixie, she met Miss Franny Block at the library and got to listen to her story about the bear.
Because of Winn-Dixie, she ended up working in the pet shop, where she met Otis. He had a knack for playing the guitar real pretty, and all the animals would stop to listen.
Because of that dog, she ended up in the yard of the neighborhood witch, Gloria Dump. She told her everything about her life and how she was feeling, and Gloria Dump had a special way to make her feel all better.
Because of Winn-Dixie, she ended up next to pinch-faced Amanda Wilkinson. Both of them found out about an old candy that tasted sweet and sad at the same time.
And because of that dog, the party that India planned with Gloria Dump, which they decorated for, and made egg salad sandwiches for, and invited everyone to, was almost ruined. But it wasn’t Winn-Dixie’s fault. Not really, anyway. Because can it be your fault if what you did was just part of your character, and not something you were trying to do?
Kids will enjoy the way India and her dog make friends and enemies in the town, and the way things come together to make surprises all around. Children who love animals, or dogs especially, will be able to relate to the special bond you have with a pet, especially when you are feeling lonely and friendless.
Kate DiCamillo won a Newberry Honor Medal for this charming tale of simple values and the kinds of things that kids think about. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is a book that will make you and your dog smile.