When 10-year-old India Opal Buloni moves to Naomi, Florida, with her father, she doesn't know what to expect -- least of all, that she'll adopt Winn-Dixie, a dog she names after the supermarket where they met.
Right away, Opal knows she can tell Winn-Dixie anything -- like the fact that lately she's been thinking a lot about her mother, who left when Opal was three. And that her father, the preacher, won't talk about her mother at all. And that she's lonely. But with such an unusually friendly dog at her side, Opal soon find rself making more than a few unusual friends. And untimately, Opal and the preacher realize -- with a little help from Winn-Dixie, of course -- that while they've both tasted a bit of melancholy in their lives, they still have a whole lot to be thankful for.