Because of Winn Dixie (book review)

by Kate DiCamillo, via Wikipedia

I think it is crucial to read outside of one’s vocation.

Winn-Dixie is a supermarket chain where I grew up, in Tallahassee, Florida. Furthermore, Kate DiCamillo is a magical writer, whom my children and I discovered as they were growing up. I recently found audio books at our local library (Libby app, anyone?) and have been listening to a wide range of books on my commute to work.

Not only is the storytelling just brief, and perfect, but the audio narrator is entirely charming and transports me to my secondary school years and the heavy southern accents all around me at the time. The immediacy of the memory is almost as dramatic as those times when a particular aroma (?pecan pie?) ‘clicks’ in your mind’s eye back to a specific time and place…

In contrast to what I heard from day-to-day in town, I preferred to think that MY English was derived, on the other hand, NOT from my parent’s immigrant tongues, nor from my southern-drawling friends, but from Sesame Street, Electric Company and, of course, neutral-midwestern-toned Walter Cronkite:

“And, THAT’S the WAY it is, JAN-u-ary FIF-teen, NINE-teen-SIX-ty-EIGHT.”

Walter Cronkite, CBS evening news

CMIO’s take? Well, give this a listen, or indeed, read ANYTHING by Kate DiCamillo: The Miraculous Story of Edward Tulane, Tiger Rising, any of them. The sweet, optimistic years of childhood, the purity of mystery, the tentativeness of friendship and connection…Young Adult Fiction is where its at. And, Happy holidays, y’all!

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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