January 22

Because of Winn-Dixie Turns 20! by Colby Sharp

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Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie turns 20 years old this year. It is one of my all-time favorite middle grade novels. The idea that kids that had this book read aloud to them when they were kids, are now reading it aloud to their own kids/students, makes my heart happy. Last week, I called Kate to talk about the book turning 20. You can listen to our conversation in the latest episode of The Yarn podcast. To listen, just click on the image below.

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From Kate’s publisher:

The book that launched the career of Kate DiCamillo,

In a review of her latest novel, the New York Times declared, “No one in children’s literature illuminates the interplay of heartbreak and hope like the two-time Newbery medalist Kate DiCamillo.” This gift is evident in all of her novels, including her very first, the blockbuster debut Because of Winn Dixie.

“The book is (I hope) a hymn of praise to dogs, friendship, and the South,” Kate DiCamillo said of that best-selling novel, which has been awarded a Newbery Honor, translated into nearly thirty languages, and turned into a musical as well as a major motion picture. The story of a preacher’s daughter named Opal whose life is transformed by a scruffy dog named Winn-Dixie continues to touch the hearts of readers of all ages and boasts over 11 million copies in print worldwide.

Candlewick Press will celebrate twenty years of Because of Winn-Dixie with a signature anniversary edition featuring a redesigned cover, a moving introduction by PEN/Faulkner Award–winning author Ann Patchett, and a new afterword by Kate DiCamillo.  In Patchett’s touching foreword she says, “Because of Winn-Dixie has [been] read by millions and millions of people. They’ve cried and laughed and felt understood because of it. Some of them have even felt rescued, while others have been reminded to reach out a hand to someone who could use it.  Because it’s not just dogs and friends who rescue us. It’s books.  Especially this one.”

On sale September 1, 2020

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Kate and her dog Ramona