I first read Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo before my daughter was born. I loved it so much I re-read it. Then, when my daughter was an infant, I read it to her. We read it again when she was a little older…and again…and again. By my count I’ve read Because of Winn Dixie at least six times and every time I get something new from it. Every time I read it I fall in love with the story and the writing a little more.
With elements of magic and sorrow, mystery and loss, community and friendship and healing and hope, Kate DiCamillo has written a book that appeals to both children and adults. It’s a prime example of why adults should read children’s literature. It’s accessible on so many levels, whether being read to children not yet in school, being read by children in 3rd through 5th grade or being read by adults who appreciate a beautiful crafted, emotionally resonant story.
The lyrical nature of the text makes it a perfect read aloud whether reading to yourself (more than once I’ve caught myself re-reading a line aloud…maybe that’s why people out in public give me those funny looks), reading to a class of 3rd graders or reading to a child too young to fully comprehend the story, but old enough to fall in love with the beauty of language.
I recommend Because of Winn Dixie for all ages, but I think it should be required reading for all children between 3rd and 5th grade.