Statewide book club’s first choice is ‘Because of Winn Dixie’

“Because of Winn-Dixie,” Minnesotan Kate DiCamillo’s story of a 10-year-old girl and her dog, is the first selection for One Book/One Minnesota, a new statewide book club that invites Minnesotans of all ages to read a common title and then meet virtually to enjoy, reflect and discuss.

Besides bringing Minnesotans together during a challenging time, the club highlights the role of libraries as community connectors. Through local libraries during April and May, Minnesotans will be invited to read the featured book selection, with access to author videos, reading guides and virtual book club discussions. Everyone will be invited to participate in a statewide virtual discussion with the author in May.

DiCamillo, one of only six writers who have won two prestigious Newbery medals, is a past National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. “Because of Winn-Dixie,” her first novel, was a New York Times bestseller.

When lonely Opal goes to the Winn-Dixie supermarket in Florida, she discovers a stray dog wreaking havoc. To prevent the manager from sending the dog to a pound, Opal says he belongs to her and names him Winn-Dixie. He’s a remarkable dog who helps Opal make new friends and come to terms with her mother’s disappearance years earlier.

“Because of Winn-Dixie,” which was made into a film, is celebrating its 20th anniversary of publication. One Book program coordinators selected the novel for its broad appeal to all age groups, although it is geared for young people.

Copies of the book will be available through independent bookstores across the state, as well as public libraries as social distancing allows. Readers are encouraged to visit their local library’s website for information about the book and virtual discussions. Links to resources for libraries and schools can be found at thefriends.org/onebook.

One Book, which officially launches to the public Wednesday, April 15, is presented by Friends of the St. Paul Public Library acting as Minnesota Center for the Book in partnership with State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education.


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