The summer that 10-year-old India Opal and her preacher father move to tiny Naomi, Florida, is one of the loneliest ones Opal has had yet. She doesn't know anyone in town, and it seems like the local kids who attend her father's church aren't interested in knowing her, either.
But all that changes when Opal is sent to the nearby Winn-Dixie grocery store. As she tells it: "...my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.
At the Winn-Dixie, Opal sees a big, ugly dog making a ruckus. When the manager threatens to call the pound to take take the mutt away, Opal fibs and says the pooch belongs to her. The dog, now named Winn-Dixie, loves the idea and is thrilled when Opal takes him home.
Winn-Dixie soon becomes part of the family, and Opal's best friend. She tells him everything, especially about how much she misses her mama, who left Opal and the preacher when Opal was three. Besides being a great listener, Winn-Dixie has a knack for making friends all over town, too. Before long, Opal's days --- and her heart --- begin to fill up with all the special (and unusual) people in her life. You won't want to miss this tender story about a girl and the dog that changed her world.
Reviewed by Shannon Maughan on February 29, 2000
Because of Winn-Dixie