Who Let That Dirty Dog In Here? (Because of Winn-Dixie – A Book Review)

Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Published: 2000

Because of Winn-Dixie

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

My name is India Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.

During the summer that Opal and her father move to Naomi, Florida, she finds a mutt running around the Winn-Dixie grocery store. Opal saves the dog from the pound and he does so much for her. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal learns ten things about her mother, who walked out when she was three, from her father. Ten things for each year that Opal has been alive. The summer is hot and life changing for everyone that meets Winn-Dixie. Opal certainly isn’t the only one learning a couple things from this fun-loving dog.

(I keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible. I’ll warn you if I’m about to get revealing.)

I can remember the amount of times I was the new girl; a few times in elementary school until fifth grade and then when I went off to college. It’s scary and nerve-wracking because you don’t know anybody and everybody stares and whispers and determines whether you’re friend material or not. It is uncomfortable. Opal and Winn-Dixie squash all of that. They inspire me, even to this day, because the pair are bold, kind, and friendly to every person they meet. They have a magic in bringing people together and making them feel special throughout this book.

If you haven’t read the book then you’ve probably seen the 2005 movie of the same name. While most movies don’t seem to do their books enough justice, this one was quite special. AnnaSophia Robb, the same girl who was in the movie adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia, took up the role of Opal. The movie did a wonderful job in recreating the story, capturing the scenery I always imagined as well as what Winn-Dixie looked and acted like.

BoWD - Giphy

There is so much that can be learned from this book. It’s why I recommend it to a lot to those that come in my store searching for that coming-of-age book. Forgiveness, acceptance, and kindness are only a few of the elements. This book really is heartwarming and I’m glad I was able to find my copy and reread it. I’ve had it since the fourth grade and my name and phone number are still on the inside cover, and yes, my handwriting is still really crappy. LOL. I can write, I just can’t write. Not well anyhow and I’ve been trying for years.

I recommend this book to every person no matter how old they you are. It’s truly beautiful and inspirational. I just don’t have anything bad to say about it. This book earned its awards rightfully. I can’t remember the teacher that picked this book out for me, but I’m incredibly grateful.

Quotables:

“Opal, I believe Winn-Dixie has a pathological fear of thunderstorms.” (preacher to Opal, p. 76)

“There goes the preacher’s daughter, visiting the witch.” (Stevie to Dunlap, p. 89)

“It is a sorrow-filled world.” (Miss Franny to Opal, p. 115)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Boondocks by Little Big Town.

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Ghosts Don’t Throw Rocks (Nancy Drew: Ghost Stories #2 – A Book Review)

Nancy Drew: Ghost Stories #2
Author: Carolyn Keene
Published: 1985

Nancy Drew 

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

 

When I thought about creating a collection of ghost stories I knew that Nancy Drew would face her most intriguing challenge yet as a young detective. You see, Nancy doesn’t not believe in ghosts; but the many unexplained happenings in each mystery almost leader her to think otherwise.

-Carolyn Keene

A creepy vampire in a cave. A ghost haunting a hospital room. A witch that helps the dead talk to their living loved ones. Nancy Drew takes on cases that seem to defy the natural world. With her best friends’ Bess and George, they’ll solve some spooky mysteries. Will they be able to solve these terrifying cases or are they in over their heads?

 

This book includes:

-Vampire Cave

-Dark Crypt

-Geist of Meyer’s Mall

-Witches’ Brew

-Phantom of Room 513

-Forest of Fear

 

Yep, I read Nancy Drew. I found this book back on the $.10 shelf in my college library and every once in a while I digress to younger days. Plus, it said ghost stories and though I haven’t read Nancy Drew until now, I know one key fact about her. She doesn’t believe in anything supernatural.

Much like Scooby Doo, Nancy always finds the crook at the end of the mystery. I can’t help that I was so hopeful that there’d be that one mystery that she couldn’t explain, like Scooby Doo and Zombie Island. Even the gang had the occasional unexplained phenomenon. I won’t give away what the stories held because I might as well give them away and I don’t want to do that to you.

Scooby-Doo Classic and Modern

One particular thing had me irked as I read though. There were slight handed comments from characters about Nancy’s friends, Bess and George. They made my jaw drop and not for any kind of good reason. A few times, Bess’s weight had been rudely mentioned as if to say she was overweight or that she eats too much. I’m a woman who LOVES food. LOVES! And I don’t tolerate weight shaming. It’s so cruel. I was very surprised to read that and felt so terrible for Bess. Then a character in one of the short stories commented that George was such a weird name for a girl. My head cocked to the side and I squinted, rereading that segment with such dismay. I would’ve loved to see Nancy stick up for them, but she had been in on a couple of these moments.

What I can take away from all of this is that times have certainly changed and I’m glad.

Each story was quick and cute and the book was finished in a day. Keene was very articulate and made sure the reader knew exactly what was going on. Am I a mystery reader? Decidedly, no. The genre just isn’t for me. I enjoy a little mystery, but only when it’s entwined with another genre that I like. I think the only exception I ever made to the mystery genre was Veronica Mars and that’s because she’s so witty and sassy. The complicated lovefest between her and Logan Echolls is something to behold as well. It certainly does make the heart melt. I think I need to go re-binge the series.

Nancy Drew

If you’re a Nancy Drew fan than take a peek at this collection of short stories. It’s like getting a nice bookshot out of the classics section.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Try Everything by Shakira.