This week I actually had to read three children's novels for school, and though I'd read two of them before, I decided to re-read one of them which I remembered fondly. A second reading is always interesting, and not something I typically do simply because there are far too many books that I still want to give a first reading to. But this book was short and I honestly couldn't remember much about it, so I sat down and read it in a few hours. I'm happy to report that my fondness has not dwindled. Enjoy.
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
When Opal moves to a new town, she has trouble making friends and fitting in, that is until she finds a stray dog who changes her life. Because of Winn-Dixie, the smiling dog, Opal begins to acclimate to her new surroundings.
Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal gets her father to open up about the mother she never knew, but whose abandonment haunts her daily. Because of Winn-Dixie, she discovers a series of other lonely people of all ages and learns to bring them together. But most importantly, because of Winn-Dixie, she learns that you can't hold on to something that wants to be set free, and so she begins to heal and move on from the hole left by her mother.
With sparse prose and a pitch-perfect voice, this book conveys a potentially heartbreaking lesson in a joyful way that ends up being a celebration of life's changes, both sweet and sorrowful.