Review: Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I realized why I read so many childrens' books as I finished this one. Not only do I do this to screen books before my children read them, to make sure that the content is not offensive, and that it is worthwhile. I also read children's books because good ones state profound truths very simply and clearly.

Winn-Dixie shows us that things happen in life that scare us to the point of vulnerability. And when we are there, we need protection and loyalty from others.

The main character's mother has left the family, and DiCamillo describes grief and loss well, from a child's perspective:
"Thinking about her was the same as the hole you keep on feeling with your tongue after you lose a tooth. Time after time, my mind kept going to that empty spot, the spot where I felt like she should be."

But the whopper that really rocked me back is a huge lesson I've learned over the last 2-3 years in ministry:
"You got to remember, you can't always judge people by the things they done. You got to judge them by what they are doing now."

Reading good fiction, children's books included, helps us reflect on our own experiences and articulate what has happened to us and what we can learn from it.

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