Letter Essay #4


Dear Sarah,

I recently finished the book called Because of Winn Dixie. This book consists of 182 deeply thought out pages, and is written by Kate Dicamillo. I decided to read this book because lots of my family members were telling me how great this book was, and I needed a book that I could read in a day or two. Even though this book was published in 2000, it hasn’t lost its charm. Also, this book has a Newbery Honor Award, and is a #1 New York Times best seller.

  This book is about a girl named Opal who just wants a normal life, and to have a mom, but her mother left the family when she was very young. So, she decided that she wouldn’t let this get to her, and that she was going to live her best life, and not let her issues get in her way.

Something I really liked about this book was how this book was so simple and easy. For example, Opal and her father live a very simple life, and this definitely effects both of them. They both learned to love something that hadn’t been loved before, which was Winn- Dixie, and they understood the dog like no others. In the book, Opal said “It’s hard not to fall in love with a dog with a sense of humor.” Obviously dogs don’t have a sense of humor, but this just shows that she found something unique about Winn-Dixie that she loved. Also Opal said “He was an ugly dog, but already, I loved him with all my heart.” This shows to love from the inside and not the outside.

I think the theme of this book is that things will get better. I think this because in the beginning of the book, it started with a sad little girl, Opal, who felt like she really needed a mom since her mom had left. She needed some hope in a new town where she didn’t know anyone. As soon as she met Winn-Dixie, everything got better for her. She finally was happy, and had someone to spend time with. Opal’s father also needed things to get better because his wife, who he loved a lot, left him. Somehow, Winn-Dixie filled the gap that his wife had left. Opal also made new friends and got a job. Even though this dog might not have fixed Opal and her father completely, she definitely did make things a lot better for them, and it almost seemed like she was good luck in a way.

The character development in this book is very good. In the beginning, Opal was extremely dependant on her father and Winn-Dixie. Throughout the book, it showed that she learned how to be more independent, and her father as well. Opal’s father, who was a preacher, became very dependant on his job, and sad about his wife. Opal became much more independent when she met Winn-Dixie, and got a job. She also met new friends along the way. She became less shy as well, because Opal could just walk around and start talking to anybody she saw. This is proof that the character development really shows.

In conclusion, Because of Winn-Dixie was a heartfelt story that teaches the reader lots of life lessons. Opal, her father, and Winn-Dixie teach us how to move past the bad things, and even to see the good in the bad. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to read a short story that touches the heart. I would rate this a 7/10, only because it is such a short book, and I am a little too old for it. I really think this is such a great book for all ages though.



Dear Sydney,

The way that you thought this out and what you were going to say clearly showed in this letter essay. You put a lot of thought into how you described the character and it helped me picture them much better. You really did a good job on this essay.

From, Sarah

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1 thought on “Letter Essay #4

  1. Sydney,
    Thanks for posting this to the blog. But, if you wrote it to Sarah, you did not have to post it. The audience for blog posts is the general public, since anyone can read it. You seem to have written this letter exclusively for Sarah, since her response is included in the blog post. Nonetheless, “Because of Winn-Dixie” is a wonderful book, and I’m glad you read something other than contemporary realistic fiction, but this book is below your reading level.
    Mr. Jockers

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