Because of Winn-Dixie

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-02-10
  • Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE
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Thirty-five years ago, Konigsburg became the first and only author to win the Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor in the same year--and she won these honors for the same book. This modern classic celebrates its 35th anniversary with a new edition featuring a new jacket and a new Afterword by the author. Illustrations.

Author Biography

Kate DiCamillo is the author of THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX, which won the Newbery Medal; THE TIGER RISING, a National Book Award Finalist; THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE, winner of a BOSTON GLOBE-HORN BOOK Award; six tales starring the inimitable Mercy Watson; and the NEW YOURK TIMES best-selling picture book GREAT JOY. She lives in Minneapolis.


Chapter One

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.
This is what happened: I walked into the produce
section of the Winn-Dixie grocery store to pick
out my two tomatoes and I almost bumped right
into the store manager. He was standing there all
red-faced, screaming and waving his arms around.
"Who let a dog in here?" he kept on shouting.
"Who let a dirty dog in here?"
At first, I didn’t see a dog. There were just a lot
of vegetables rolling around on the floor, tomatoes
and onions and green peppers. And there was what
seemed like a whole army of Winn-Dixie employees
running around waving their arms just the same
way the store manager was waving his.
And then the dog came running around the cor
ner. He was a big dog. And ugly. And he looked
like he was having a real good time. His tongue was
hanging out and he was wagging his tail. He skid
ded to a stop and smiled right at me. I had never
before in my life seen a dog smile, but that is what
he did. He pulled back his lips and showed me all
his teeth. Then he wagged his tail so hard that he
knocked some oranges off a display, and they went
rolling everywhere, mixing in with the tomatoes
and onions and green peppers.
The manager screamed, "Somebody grab that
The dog went running over to the manager, wag
ging his tail and smiling. He stood up on his hind
legs. You could tell that all he wanted to do was get
face to face with the manager and thank him for the
good time he was having in the produce department,
but somehow he ended up knocking the manager
over. And the manager must have been having a bad
day, because lying there on the floor, right in front
of everybody, he started to cry. The dog leaned over
him, real concerned, and licked his face.
"Please," said the manager. "Somebody call the
"Wait a minute!" I hollered. "That’s my dog.
Don’t call the pound."
All the Winn-Dixie employees turned around
and looked at me, and I knew I had done something
big. And maybe stupid, too. But I couldn’t help it. I
couldn’t let that dog go to the pound.
"Here, boy," I said.
The dog stopped licking the manager’s face and
put his ears up in the air and looked at me, like he
was trying to remember where he knew me from.
"Here, boy," I said again. And then I figured that
the dog was probably just like everybody else in
the world, that he would want to get called by a
name, only I didn’t know what his name was, so I
just said the first thing that came into my head. I
said, "Here, Winn-Dixie."
And that dog came trotting over to me just like
he had been doing it his whole life.
The manager sat up and gave me a hard stare,
like maybe I was making fun of him.
"It’s his name," I said. "Honest."
The manager said, "Don’t you know not to bring
a dog into a grocery store?"
"Yes sir," I told him. "He got in by mistake. I’m
sorry. It won’t happen again.
"Come on, Winn-Dixie," I said to the dog.
I started walking and he followed along behind
me as I went out of the produce department and
down the cereal aisle and past all the cashiers and
out the door.
Once we were safe outside, I checked him over
real careful and he didn’t look that good. He was
big, but skinny; you could see his ribs. And there
were bald patches all over him, places where he
didn’t have any fur at all. Mostly, he looked like a
big piece of old brown carpet that had been left out
in the rain.
"You’re a mess," I told him. "I bet you don’t
belong to anybody."
He smiled at me. He did that thing again, where
he pulled back his lips and showed me his

Excerpted from Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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