Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
A beautiful chapter book about 10-year-old Opal, abandoned by her mother as a toddler and living in a new town in Florida with her father, a preacher. Opal finds a dog at the local Winn Dixie and names him in honor of the store she found him in. He is a big, lovable dog who provides her with affection and trust at a vulnerable time in her life. He also helps her to make friends in her new town. As she settles in to her new life, old hurts from her mother’s abandonment begin to heal. A lovely story filled with unforgettable characters, this was DiCamillo’s first novel and a winner of the Newbery Honor.