Luke Baldwin’s Vow & Because of Winn-Dixie

Book Pairing

Luke Baldwin's Vow    Because of Winn-Dixie

I am feeling nostalgic.  By now, these are considered children’s classics but I had to blog about them.  I remember reading these and thoroughly enjoying them.  It is almost as if DiCamillo wrote an updated version of Callaghan’s story with “man’s best friend” helping to brighten a child’s day.  Several differences are obvious.  In the first story, Luke is orphaned and at eleven, moves in with his uncle.  The old dog that Luke meets on his uncle’s farm is named Dan but he is also blind in one eye and his days are numbered—as Luke quickly finds out.  Since the dog is his one true friend, Luke will do anything to keep him.  It is through the boy’s perseverance and hard work that Dan is saved from his tragic fate, while Luke learns much about himself.  The second tale has ten-year-old Opal moving to a trailer park with her dad, wondering what happened to her runaway mom.  Soon, she encounters a scruffy dog who gets into plenty of mischief and seems to be homeless.  She decides to keep him and many little adventures ensue, allowing Opal to grow up in more ways than one.  The first book is aimed for older kids and the main character is a boy, while the latter is written for a slightly younger audience and features a girl.  The protagonists are very similar in age and share a bond with a furry, loyal companion who teaches them important lessons.  Each novel will make you feel good and bring a smile to your face (maybe even a tear to your eye), no matter how old you are!

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