At the start of Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Honor novel, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni has just moved to Naomi, Florida. Her mom has left the family, and her preacher father has been hiding in his old "turtle shell." All India Opal wants is a friend. That's when she finds Winn-Dixie, a stray dog she rescues at the local grocery store. Having Winn-Dixie is great. India Opal starts to meet people in town, her father starts poking out of his shell, and India Opal even begins to understand why her mother may have left. All this happens because of Winn-Dixie.
Kate DiCamillo lived in the South for much of her childhood and received her bachelor's degree from University of Florida in Gainesville. She writes for children and adults and is a recipient of the 1998 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers. She says about Because of Winn-Dixie, "The book is (I hope) a hymn of praise to dogs, friendship and the south."
Kate DiCamillo currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Because of Winn-Dixie, her first work with Candlewick Press, is a Newbery Honor Book.