Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is a novel for children about a girl Opal and the stray dog Winn-Dixie she adopts when she finds him in a supermarket. Opal and her father have just moved to a small town in Florida where her father works as a preacher in a small community church and they live in a trailer park. Opal's mother, who had problems with alcohol, has left the family and Opal is lonely. After Opal adopts the dog, she gradually starts to make friends in the town. The main narrative line consists of Opal making a series of new friends and eventually gathering them all together for a big party at the end of the summer.
The first friend Opal acquires is Miss Franny Block, who runs the local library. Opal and the librarian share a love of stories. At the library, Opal meets Amanda Wilkinson, a girl who is mourning the death of her younger brother Carson. Opal next goes to the pet store to buy a leash for her dog, but can't afford it. She offers to work to cover the cost of a collar and leash and ends up befriending the guitar-playing clerk Otis. At the pet store, she meets and befriends Sweetie Pie Thomas, another child who loves animals. An elderly recovered alcoholic, Gloria Dump, and the Dewberry boys round out the list of friends Opal makes over the summer.