Jan 112011
 

Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo’s debut novel wins a 2001 Newbery Honor and is a NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Bestseller!
The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket–and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.

Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship–and forgiveness–can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

Recalling the fiction of Harper Lee and Carson McCullers, here is a funny, poignant, and utterly genuine first novel from a major new talent.
An unforgettable first novel about coming of age one sweet summer–and learning to love what you have.

Book Club Discussion Questions

Activity sheet

Teacher’s Guide

Readers’ Club activities

Cause and effect lesson plan

Discussion Guide

Read an excerpt

Vocabulary lessons

Webquest for Because of Winn-Dixie

Create printable tests and worksheets from Because of Winn-Dixie questions

Writing encouragement for students

Activity Guide from Walden Media

Educator’s Guide

Information on topics related to the book

Book talks

Literature circle unit

Discussion questions

Character Education Lesson plan

Review and Discussion Questions

Figurative language lesson

Buy the Book

(Publisher’s Price is $15.99)

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Movie Trailer

Nov 272010
 

Trailer produced by Sangeeta Garg

Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo–author of The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane– has crafted another exquisite novel for young readers. The Magician’s Elephant tells the tale of Peter Augustus Duchene, a ten-year-old orphan who receives an unbelievable piece of information from the local fortuneteller. Peter learns that his fate is tied to an elephant that has inexplicably fallen from the sky when a magician’s trick goes terribly wrong. Why did it happen? And, how can an elephant possibly change the course of Peter’s life? This darkly atmospheric, yet hopeful tale, demonstrates that when the answers to life’s big questions are opaque or unforthcoming, all is not lost. DiCamillo’s rhythmic writing, combined with Yoko Tanaka’s mysterious black-and-white illustrations, enchants and calls out to our sincerest wishes and dreams