Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

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Because of Winn Dixie tells the story of ten-year old Opal. She has just moved to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. On an errand to the grocery store Opal finds a large, ugly, homeless dog. Opal is immediately attached to the dog whom she names Winn Dixie after the grocery store where she finds him. Together they make friends with Otis, an ex-convict who runs the local pet store; Miss Fanny, the librarian who has a desk full of "Litmus Lozenges" a type of candy which her great grandfather invented; and Gloria Dump, the lady the local children think of as a witch because of her jungle-like yard. This book will make you laugh as Opal and Winn Dixie make friends with these very likable characters in this small southern town.

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http://www.scholastic.com/winndixie/index.htm