Friday, October 03, 2008

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Well, this book was great! I never have seen the movie that they made out of it and now I am definitely going to have to borrow it from the library! It was a great story about a little girl that moves to a new town and has to leave all her friends behind and so is lonely. This brings up her long-term hurt of her mama leaving her and her dad when she was only 3. Then she gets a big, ugly dog and names him Winn-Dixie! Winn-Dixie gets into all sorts of things but he also introduces Opal to all sorts of people! She makes friends and in the end, her and her dad are closer and she feels like her heart is full. I personally thought this was a great feel good book and at the end, I was really happy with the way it turned out, even if there were a few tears along the way.

These are taken from the scholastic site and I thought they were great discussion questions for the book. If anyone else wants to read the book and then discuss it with me, I would love that!

Opal makes a lot of quick judgments about some of the characters in the book, such as the Dewberry brothers, Otis, and Amanda Wilkinson. But as she gets to know them, her opinions change. Have you ever judged someone too quickly? Did you eventually change your opinion? What made you change what you thought? Why is it important not to "judge a book by its cover"?

What decisions does Opal make in this story that end up changing her life? Have you ever made what seemed like a small, unimportant decision, but it turned out to be very important? Explain.

Gloria Dump says she thinks "the whole world has an aching heart." Do you agree that everyone has their own sadness? Why?

What do you think Opal and her dad, the preacher, get from having Winn-Dixie? Who or what in your life is like Winn-Dixie?

When Winn-Dixie is missing after the thunderstorm, Gloria Dump says to Opal, "There ain't no way you can hold on to something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it." What do you think Gloria means? Do you agree with her thought? Why or why not?

At the end of the story, Opal seems to accept that her mother is not coming back. Why is this an important part of the story? What is something difficult in your life that you've had to accept?

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