Copyright

Because of Winn Dixie Setting

Instructor: April Gwen Ellsworth

April has a master's degree in psychology and has experience teaching special populations from preschoolers to adults.

Imagine a small, quiet town with a church made from a grocery store and a house with a Mistake Tree that keeps ghosts away. This is Naomi, Florida, which creates the delightful setting for 'Because of Winn-Dixie.'

Because of Winn-Dixie

Do you look forward to summer vacation when school is out and there's more time to play in the warm weather? Imagine summer begins and you move to a new town. How would you find friends and what would you do all summer?

This happens to 10-year old India Opal Buloni the summer she and her father move to Naomi, Florida, providing the setting for Because of Winn-Dixie. A book's setting is where and when the story takes place.

The Setting

Although author Kate DiCamillo doesn't specify the year the summer happens, some clues tell us it is probably sometime between the 1960s and 1990s. A few of these clues are the use of the Winn-Dixie store, the slower pace of the town, the way the characters speak, and the things they talk about.

We definitely know a lot about Naomi, though, because of the words DiCamillo uses to describe this quiet town off of Highway 50. Hot, summery Naomi is so small that Opal and her father, The Preacher, are able to walk all of it one stormy evening looking for their lost dog, Winn-Dixie. Life is slower here, and it seems everyone knows at least a little about everyone else.

Within Naomi are several places Opal and Winn-Dixie spend most of their time. These are important parts of the setting.

Friendly Corners Trailer Park

Opal, The Preacher, and Winn-Dixie live in a small trailer that has two bedrooms and a couch that Winn-Dixie likes to sit on. Their home is small enough to rattle during a big thunderstorm.

Opal lives in a small trailer with her father and Winn-Dixie.
trailer

Open Arms Baptist Church of Naomi

The Preacher's church 'isn't a regular looking church' because it used to be a Pick-It-Quick store. As you walk through the door, the first thing you see is the Pick-It-Quick motto spelled out in tiny red tiles on the floor. The Preacher has tried to paint over them, but it just won't stay.

The church has no pews, so people bring folding chairs and lawn chairs. Mice stay around to eat the leftovers from all the potluck dinners. Opal says, 'It's kind of a strange church, and I thought Winn-Dixie would fit right in.'

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