Wednesday, March 16, 2005

After making an attempt to read Kate Dicamillo's The Tale of Despereaux and finding it unpleasantly self-aware and poorly-written (maybe I should've read the whole thing, but I really don't know how it got a Newbery Award!), I was hesitant about Because of Winn-Dixie. Oddly enough it was the review of the recently released movie that inspired me to try the book, and I am so glad I did. I read it straight through when I was sick the other day, and it brightened my morning tremendously--I even laughed out loud several times, which rarely happens. Everything about the story was so sweet and genuine--a perfect children's book and an excellent one for adults to pick up now and then. I think one of the things I like about juvenile fiction is that it reminds me how the world can be viewed innocently and optimistically, and how rewarding simple things can be. If only we could keep that childlike ability to approach everyone in the same way, without the judgmental and critical qualities that grow with age.

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