Updated: Sep 22, 2020
In school, I read a book that's considered a kid's classic called "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo. I thought this book was really interesting, and even though I wasn't into it so much as to give it 5 stars, I think major dog lovers would be gushing over it!
The book began with a girl named Opal walking into a local Winn-Dixie grocery store to find the manager freaking out that there was a dog running loose in the produce section. He wanted the dog out so badly, he ordered everyone in the store to call the pound immediately.
Opal is suddenly over come with fear for the dog's future in the pound, so she suddenly steps up and pretends the dog is hers. She tells the manager the dog's name is Winn-Dixie, which he accepts as the truth and tells her to take the dog home. After spending some time with Winn-Dixie, Opal gets emotionally attached to him, and takes him home to ask her dad if she can keep him. Her dad at first says she doesn't need a dog, but Opal tells him she knows that she doesn't need him, but Winn-Dixie needs her. Her dad changes his mind and decides to give him a home.
Before Opal meets Winn-Dixie, her dad and her had just moved into a new town where she had no friends and was very lonely. When she meets this special dog, she suddenly feels like she has a friend she can tell anything to. He also helps her make many new friends by sometimes getting into trouble and causing her to meet new people. She learns many things about her new personal companion along the way, such as he loves peanut butter, and he has a pathological fear of thunderstorms. Later in the book, when they go to a party, Opal see's how powerful his fear is when thunderstorms start, and they forget to bring him inside...
I would give "Because of Winn-Dixie" 4 out of 5 stars because the story line was realistic and light hearted. I really liked the kindness of the characters with how they treated each other even though they didn't know one another that well. The book also made me think a lot about a recent change in my own life. About 4 months ago, my grandma decided to get a stray, rescued dog named Tiger from our local shelter. Even though I have been excited about him, I think maybe this book will make me appreciate him even more since I can now see how a dog can be like a best friend if you let them.
Please write if a dog has changed your life for the better in the comments or if you have anything to add about this book.