On May 20, the Saint Paul Public Library and the educational partners behind One Book | One Minnesota presented a virtual talk with Kate DiCamillo, author of the children’s classic Because of Winn-Dixie. The story’s protagonist, Opal, motherless and new in town, adopts a stray dog whose antics catalyze friendships with a range of misfits, all lonely and grieving, but also joyful and having much to give. It is fitting that a story about individuals coming together to form a supportive and forgiving community by acknowledging their hurts and sharing their gifts should be the first selection of this statewide book club meant to bring Minnesotans together during a time of adversity and highlight the role of libraries in our communities.
After reading the last chapter of Because of Winn-Dixie, DiCamillo took questions from the audience of over 1,500 virtual attendees. She reflected on the 20th anniversary of the novel, its genesis in her first Minnesota winter, and her writing process through a Newbery-winning career. She discussed the books that formed her as a reader and writer, and shared the titles she’s currently reading. Asked to describe the “book situation” of her childhood, she spoke movingly of her mother, who introduced her to the public library and did her best to acquire books to feed her daughter’s youthful interests.
Watch the entire discussion here:
And if you've finished Because of Winn-Dixie, and are looking for something similar to read, check out this booklist.
(Post by Eric B.)