Summer In The South

Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia
Oak trees often provide a shaded reprieve from the hot Southern summers

My Southern Summer Experience

Because of Winn Dixie is a charming children’s/middle grade story set in a small town in Florida during the hot summer. In a way it reminds me of our family visits to the Carolinas, which always occurred during the hottest time of the year, August, because that’s when we had the time to make the 500 mile drive from Maryland and then spend several weeks on the hot coastal plains. Our summer sojourn always included a trip to the beach, which was a nice reprieve from the hotter weather amidst the piney woods.  When inland our summer days included minimal daytime activity and a daily swim in an artesian pool or pond to cool off. Somehow we made it through the nights without AC and our frequent social gatherings always occurred indoors or at a cool and shady outdoor location. All of these childhood memories seemed to have been revived somewhat, when I read Kate DiCamillo’s charming little story that is slowly becoming a classic tale that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

About The Book

What I enjoyed most about the story was its eccentric yet believable cast of characters that were expertly weaved together throughout the short tale. Also enjoyable was the slightly irreverent atmosphere towards organized religion and the Old South that became the background for this short novel. Winn Dixie turns out to be the name of a dog, who acquired his unique handle because he  was found wandering by a young girl at the popular grocery store chain of the same name. The two turn into the best of buddies and the book follows their ensuing adventures that occur during summer recess.

This book makes for a quick and easy read, but you can watch the movie (made in 2005) on your DVD player, if you prefer. Published in 2000, this book quickly accumulated several awards and is becoming a classic read, for booklovers everywhere. The story appears to be loosed based on the author’s personal experience, who moved to Florida (from Pennsylvania) with her family at a very young age.

Florida in Winter
Florida consists of more than the popular places such as Miami, Key West and Orlando, from Wikipedia

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