Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
Opal Buloni (pronounced like the lunch meat) is new to the small town of Naomi. She's in need of a friend and so is the mutt she finds wreaking havoc at the Winn-Dixie grocery store one day. The two are a pair suited to each other perfectly. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal makes friends with an interesting cast of locals and brings them all together. Along the way she learns that life is full of sorrow and sweetness all mixed together.
This is a great story for kids of pretty much any age and adults who enjoy a story with a good moral tone. Not so much about faith and religion as it is about the common lessons of life.
The best part of the story for me was that Opal, and thus the reader, is encouraged to not judge a person by their past or their mistakes but by their heart. It's a simple but powerful message.
The movie was just about as good as the book. They added a couple of characters that I felt were unnecessary but they didn't hurt the story. I always enjoy AnnaSophia Robb with her piercing almond-shaped eyes and her pure and fun characters. I love that Dave Matthews was in it and that he did an excellent job, though they didn't have nearly as much of him singing as I would have liked. It has it's corny moments but they are easy to overlook because the story is so fun and positive. It's worth a family read aloud or movie night.
Because of Winn-Dixie counts for the Read the Book, Watch the Movie Challenge even though I technically didn't read the book. Which is why it also counts for the Audio Book Challenge. I'm counting it as a Win! Win! pick for the 2010 Challenge and the Proper Name leg of the Four Month Challenge for an extra 5 points. That was some book, eh?