Before heading out to Utah, Callie and I went to the library to get her some books and some books on cd for the car. I decided to grab a couple for me while I was there. It's been a long time since I read anything for middle grade. It's not usually what I reach for. But on this day, I saw a book that had received the Newberry Honor and thought...why not? I knew it'd be a fast read, and I was looking forward to reading something innocent and light.
Because of Winn-Dixie was the perfect book to read after finishing Anne of Green Gables. It was everything I hoped for: innocent, light, quick, and left me feeling happy. It is definitely a book that I'd read to Callie, or have her read herself one day. In many ways, it's the classic story of a young girl seeking friendship and finding it. Not only does she have a deep love for, and friendship with, her dog, but because of Winn-Dixie (the dog, not the grocery store necessarily), she creates other relationships that in a way, bring the entire small town closer together. Within her story, others are woven in...a young girl and her brother, a pet store employee, the neighborhood witch, the old librarian, the two token bullies, and the grieving father.
I really thoroughly enjoyed the book and I'm glad I read it. It was refreshing and happy.
Come to find out, Hollywood also thought it was refreshing and happy and made a movie version...even starring Dave Matthews. If you don't want to read the book but have kids who may be interested in the story, I suppose you could watch it ~ though the thoughtful-conscientious-mom side of me and former-English-teacher side pleads with you to read it instead. My husband would claim that the movie is more accurate than the book. Sheesh. Yes, this is the humor I live with (but some of it is still funny, even after 8 years).