Because of Winn-Dixie Book Review

I’m a huge dog lover, so any story that involves a dog is instantly good to me. I remembered reading Because of Winn-Dixie as a child, but I didn’t remember the contents. As an adult, I decided to traverse back into this story and see what it was that I had forgotten. What I got was a story about a lonely girl meeting a dog who changes her life for the better. It’s a boy-meets-girl story, but the boy is a dog.

The story is about India Opal Buloni who moves to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. One day, while she was grocery shopping at a supermarket, she meets a stray dog wreaking havoc in the building. Intrigued by the dog, she claims him and names him Winn-Dixie. Before meeting Winn-Dixie, she had a lot of emotional baggage due to her mother leaving her family behind. The loneliness she felt soon goes away as she meets Winn-Dixie who becomes the light of her life.

The story is very wholesome. It’s a story that overcomes loneliness and sadness. Dicamillo did a wonderful job showing Opal’s rougher side before she mellows out towards the end where she’s having fun with her friends and neighbors. India did not want to do anything with another person before, but knowing that she warms up to them if they liked Winn-Dixie was nice to see.

I do think this story does give an insight on what having a pet, or a companion, does for someone. I can relate. While I had several pets in the past, they do ease the loneliness. I have two dogs right now and they keep me happy every day. I understand what Opal feels when Winn-Dixie heals her troubled young soul. He makes her understand that everything will be okay and that it’s okay to miss her mother even if she’s not coming back.

Opal’s main issues are her inability to make human friends and her missing her mother. Her inability to make friends causes her to act cold and blunt towards other kids. She’s nice to some kids like Sweetie Pie, but she’s a lot meaner to Amanda, Steven and Dunlap. She later sympathizes with them later on. She also gets along well with adults like Frannie Block, Gloria Dump and Otis. She even rekindles her distant relationship with her father. The fact that everyone comes together for a party at the end shows Opal has changed positively. Everything about this is because of Winn-Dixie.

What I really liked above all else is that Opal’s mother did not make an appearance in the story. Yes, Mrs. Buloni is mentioned throughout the story, but she never actually makes a physical appearance. I find that good. The story is about Opal overcoming the loneliness over her mother leaving her behind and it also helps her become closer to her father. If her mother had shown up, it would’ve ruined the flow of the entire story.

There’s nothing much I disliked about this story, honestly. It’s a wholesome story that is perfect for children. While I am an adult, the struggles that Opal deals with and how she overcomes them with Winn-Dixie warms my heart.

I want to try watching the movie. I heard it’s good. Also, it stars AnnaSophia Robb, who is an actress that I am familiar with. I’ve watched Bridge to Terabithia and the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Would I read this story again? Maybe. I totally recommend this for any children wanting to read something eventful. I’ll keep it on my shelf for now. What are your thoughts about this book? Please let me know.

My copy of the book
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