Local News From Naomi, Florida

By Kate DiCamillo

~Candlewick Press~

~2000~

~182 pages~

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~Character Descriptions~

The main character in this story is India Opal Buloni. But everyone calls her by her middle name, Opal. The other main character in this book is Winn-Dixie, Opals dog, and Opals father, the Preacher. Opal and Winn-Dixie meet lots of new people who are very important in this novel. Ms. Franny Block, she is the librarian and is also Opals first friend made in the Naomi. Otis, he plays guitar and is a worker at Gertrude's Pets who agrees to an 'Installment Plan' with Opal so she can get Winn-Dixie this red collar and leash. Gloria Dump, She can't really see very well. Kids in town called Gloria a Witch and said she'd eat you for dinner. But Winn-Dixie ran in her yard and when Opal went after him, she saw that Gloria Dump was nothing but a warm hearted old woman who makes delicious peanut butter sandwiches. Right away, they became good friends. And Opal visited her everyday.

~Plot Summary~

Ten year old India Opal Buloni moved to Naomi, Florida with her father the preacher.Her mother left them when Opal was very young. So she doesn't really remember much. Later when they moved, her father sends her to the store to get a box of Mac and Cheese, white rice, and two red tomatoes. Instead she brought home a dog. The dog was named Winn-Dixie, after the store she was sent to. Opal ends up making new friends and meeting new people. She gets a 'job' at a pet store, she becomes friends with a librarian, and meets a so called "Witch" named Gloria Dump. All because of Winn-Dixie.

~Conflict~

The conflict in this novel is that Opal doesn't know enough about her mother. Her father only told her ten things about her mother,because she's ten. Also because he doesn't like to talk about her. He doesn't really want to show his actual feelings about the situation. I'd say this is an internal conflict because its Opal against her feelings of sadness and abandonment of her mother.

~Title Explanation~

I believe this book is called "Because of Winn-Dixie" because everything Opal's done, everyone she's met, and the friends she's made in Naomi, is really because of Winn-Dixie. I don't think anything else would work best for the title of this book. But what I think would be about as good as the actual title is "How I met Winn-Dixie", because it still ties with the beginning of the story of meeting Winn-Dixie and it could still be told as a pretty good story.

~Book Review~

My honest opinion on this book is that its a good book to read as a child all the way to adult. But a way I think could've improved this book even more, is if Opal ran into her mother somewhere knowing its her just by the ten things her father told her. But her mother not remembering who Opal is. I think that this is a way to get real dramatic and a way for Opal to see her mother and do what she can to let her know that she is her daughter, and the story go on from that moment. If that happened in this novel, I'd most definetely consider this my favorite book.