India Opal Burani and her father, the preacher, have just moved to Naomi, Florida. Opal doesn't know anybody, doesn't even have a mother since hers ran off years ago, and she's feeling pretty lonely, pretty down. Then she meets Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie is a dog, a huge, scruffy, smelly dog, who Opal takes home, bathes, and loves, not in that order. And because of Winn-Dixie, Opal begins to make friends--people who the dog leads her straight to, or people who just can't resist Winn-Dixie's smile.
This book was just exactly like a Litmus Lozenge: something sweet that tastes like sorrow. The first person narration works well, and the community that Opal builds is warm and full of personalities.