Excerpt from Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Because of Winn-Dixie

by Kate DiCamillo

Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2000, 184 pages
    Sep 2001, 182 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

"I've been talking to him and he agreed with me that, since I'm ten years old, you should tell me ten things about my mama. Just ten things, that's all."

The preacher stopped rubbing Winn-Dixie's head and held real still. I could see him thinking about pulling his head back into his shell.

"One thing for each year I've been alive," I told him. "Please."

Winn-Dixie looked up at the preacher and kind of gave him a nudge with his nose.

The preacher sighed. He said to Winn-Dixie, "I should have guessed you were going to be trouble." Then he looked at me. "Come on, Opal," he said. "Sit down. And I will tell you ten things about your mama."

Chapter Four

"One," said the preacher. We were sitting on the couch and Winn-Dixie was sitting between us. Winn-Dixie had already decided that he liked the couch a lot. "One," said the preacher again. Winn-Dixie looked at him kind of hard. "Your mama was funny. She could make just about anybody laugh."

"Two," he said. "She had red hair and freckles."

"Just like me," I said.

"Just like you," the preacher nodded.

"Three. She liked to plant things. She had a talent for it. She could stick a tire in the ground and grow a car."

Winn-Dixie started chewing on his paw, and I tapped him on the head to make him stop.

"Four," said the preacher. "She could run fast. If you were racing her, you couldn't ever let her get a head start, because she would beat you for sure."

"I'm that way, too," I said. "Back home, in Watley, I raced Liam Fullerton, and beat him, and he said it wasn't fair, because boys and girls shouldn't race each other to begin with. I told him he was just a sore loser."

The preacher nodded. He was quiet for a minute.

"I'm ready for number five," I told him.

"Five," he said. "She couldn't cook. She burned everything, including water. She had a hard time opening a can of beans. She couldn't make head nor tail of a piece of meat. Six." The preacher rubbed his nose and looked up at the ceiling. Winn-Dixie looked up, too.

"Number six is that your mama loved a story. She would sit and listen to stories all day long. She loved to be told a story. She especially liked funny ones, stories that made her laugh." The preacher nodded his head like he was agreeing with himself.

"What's number seven?" I asked.

"Let's see," he said. "She knew all the constellations, every planet in the nighttime sky. Every last one of them. She could name them. And point them out. And she never got tired of looking up at them."

"Number eight," said the preacher, with his eyes closed, "was that she hated being a preacher's wife. She said she just couldn't stand having the ladies at church judge what she was wearing and what she was cooking and how she was singing. She said it made her feel like a bug under a microscope."

Winn-Dixie lay down on the couch. He put his nose in the preacher's lap and his tail in mine.

From Because of Winn-Dixie. Copyright (c) 2000 Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.