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    Because of Winn-Dixie
    By Kathy Luksich

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    I teach fourth grade, and recently read Winn-Dixie to my class. Absolutly wonderful! We read it first in our "Teachers as Readers" group, and we all loved it. Well, it's even better with kids! It's great for working on major/minor characters, plot, cause and effect, etc, but more than that, it is a "heart" story. It brings up great conversation. The girl doesn't know her mother, but this doesn't seem too heavy for kids dealing with loss. She asks her father to tell her for "ten things about her mother." I used it to have my kids write ten things about someone. We also used it to talk about "can't judge a book by its cover" issues. The most influential character (Gloria Dump) is an old, wrinkled mostly blind woman, who turns out to be a real gem. I can't recommend this book highly enough! Feel free to write with more questions!

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