Reviews for Because of Winn-Dixie : Library Edition

AudioFile Reviews 2001 June/July
India Opal Buloni walks into the Winn-Dixie in her new hometown of Naomi, Florida, for a box of macaroni and cheese, two tomatoes, and white rice and comes out with a dog--a mangy, homeless, smiling dog. And her life changes forever. Motherless Opal and that dog aren't so different, each looking for the comfort of home and people to love them. Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones delivers a superb first-person narration that brings the charming 10-year-old daughter of the Open Arms Baptist Church preacher to life. Her simple, sometimes not-quite-grammatical, but always humorous, take on daily experiences and profound life issues rings true. Her gravelly voiced blind friend, Gloria Dump; her animal-charming, big-hearted friend, Otis; her dreamy, book-loving librarian, Miss Franny Block; and squeaky-voiced, lisping Sweetie Pie are all memorably and individually created. A stellar audio interpretation of a Newbery Honor book! T.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award. ¬ AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 April #2
DiCamillo's debut novel, a 2001 Newbery Honor Book, percolates with heartfelt emotion and eccentric Southern color as superbly performed by Tony Award-winning actress Jones. Ten-year-old Opal, lonely in the Florida town where she has just moved with her preacher father, instantly takes a shine to a scraggly stray dog she encounters in the local Winn-Dixie supermarket. The pooch, named for their meeting place, becomes a trusted companion with whom Opal can share her thoughts and fears, and her hurt, confused feelings about the mother who left the family when Opal was three. Winn-Dixie is soon helping Opal in other ways, too. The dog's "smile" and sweet temperament act as ice breakers that allow Opal to meet a whole new group of friends who grow to be an unusual extended family. Jones imbues her depiction of Opal with a tone of youthful, hopeful wonder and skillfully transforms her voice to distinguish the other older, life-weathered characters. A Tennessee native, she never sounds hokey as she adopts a Southern accent, and she effortlessly slips into a compelling storytelling rhythm. This is a top-notch treatment of an award-winning tale. Ages 8-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.