Last April-May, I was in charge of the 2nd grade Reading Group. We read Because of Winn-Dixie.
As the only adult in the group, I thought it was pretty good! It's about a little girl who moves to a new town with her Preacher-father. She's very lonely until she finds a stray dog. It's a very moving coming-of-age story. I have not seen the entire movie yet, but I'm sure that it's not as good as the book. (Are they ever?)
My 7-year-old, who was in the group with me says, "It's a great book. It has lots of experience. And I like the characters."
This book falls under the 100+ Reading Challenge and the Young Adult Reading Challenge.