India Opal Buloni is the innocent 10 year old daughter of a preacher who had just moved to a small town in Florida. She feels a saddening loneliness for all of the friends and familiarity she left behind. That all changes one afternoon when her father sends her to the local Winn-Dixie grocery. What starts as a simple errand changes her future and enriches the lives of many. As she enters the store chaos abounds. People are running too and fro, groceries are spilled from shelves and there are a series of loud shout from the manager. He manager is screaming, “Who let that dog in the store? Somebody get that dog!!” At that moment, an old ratty looking stray rounds the corner and knocks the manager flat. Flustered and in tears he tells his staff to call the pound. Fate and Opal step in to save the stray when Opal claims this stinky old dog as her own naming him Winn-Dixie.
Leaving the store with her new found friend, Opal realizes that the hardest part is yet to come. She must now convince her father to let her keep this unfortunate animal. Knowing that this is something she must do because Opal understands what it's like to be a stray. Her mother left her when she was very small. She also knows that she has two things going for her. Number one, her father being a preacher, has a soft heart towards those less fortunate. Number two, as wretched as Winn-Dixie may look, he's full of personality and has a smile that can melt anyone's heart. Soon Winn-Dixie is a healthy and settled member of the family as well as an important part of Opal's life.
As they grow and learn together their friendship grows. This is easy for both as both have a knack at making new friends. Their daily adventures lead them around town and they do just that. Not really understanding how they enrich the lives of many other lonely townsfolk such as Ms. Franny Block, the town librarian, Ms. Gloria Dump, an eccentric recluse, Otis who is the pet store clerk and several children along the way it becomes a benefit to all. Each has a story to tell and Opal is more than willing to listen.
The review of this Book prepared by Talea