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Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who…

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (edition 2010)

by Vicki Myron, Bret Witter

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9452861,301 (3.75)165
Title:Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
Authors:Vicki Myron
Other authors:Bret Witter
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Spencer, Iowa, Library cat, Dewey Readmore Books

Work details

Dewey, the library cat by Vicki Myron

  1. 51
    Marley & Me by John Grogan (jlsherman)
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    Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper (coppers, thekoolaidmom)
    thekoolaidmom: They are both about special cats who had a rough start in life, but went on to love and inspire people.
  8. 00
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    SqueakyChu: A delightful cat story
  10. 00
    Owl Came to Stay by Claire Rome (TheDivineOomba)
    TheDivineOomba: An Owl that Came to Stay has a similar feel and style of writing as Dewey does, and about the same length.
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    Hunting Elf: A doggone Christmas story by Dave Donelson (smmorris)
    smmorris: Elf is a smart, do-it-my-way puppy and Dewey is the same, only he is a cat. While Elf is a work of fiction, it is based on a real "Elf." Dewey is non-fiction yet just as fun a read as Elf. Both will show you the strengths and persistence of pets. Both are happy reads you won't put down.… (more)

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English (270)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Lithuanian (1)  All languages (287)
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
I enjoyed the story of Dewey Readmore Books the orange cat that lived at the public library in Spencer Iowa. The story is written by the librarian, Vicky Myron, who rescued the tiny kitten from the book return bin on a very cold January night. The book is an account of Dewey and Vicky's lives. Dewey was a very rare cat in that he had a great personality, was super friendly, tolerant of little kids and really enjoyed the company of all the library patrons. He especially loved Vicky and her daughter Jodi. The book is about his antics, all the friends that he makes, his funny habits and his reputation which makes him an international star. Intertwined with this is the story of Spencer, Iowa and Vicky's personal story which adds another dimension. If you're looking for an uplifting happy story, read this ( )
  MaggieFlo | May 1, 2016 |
It starts out as a very promising and touching animal story. The librarian of a small town library in Spencer, Iowa, discovers a tiny, frozen, furry bundle in the drop-box of her library. Incredibly, the bundle proves to be a kitten who is still alive, though barely. Which animal-lover could not fail to be moved by such an opening - especially knowing that it was a true story? The next few chapters describe how the kitten wins everyone's hearts, both staff and public. Sometimes the events are moving, sometimes comical, just as all encounters with domestic animals are in real life. Eventually the long-haired ginger kitten becomes formally adopted as a library cat, and named "Dewey (after the library system) Readmore Books".
A charming story. I was looking forward to the rest. Then quite a lot about the town, Spencer,'s history started to intrude. Fair enough though; it put everything in context. Spencer had had a chequered past, with changing farming and industrial needs, the Depression, the recession. Various new developments had been proposed. As a reader I went along with it, wondering when I could chuckle at Dewey's antics again.

Gradually it shifted focus. From the introduction we had learnt a little about Spencer and the state of Iowa. This was useful information, especially for non-American readers. And the book says that even Americans tend to think of Iowa as a "place you fly over on your way to somewhere else." Iowa is predominantly devoted to the farming industry; growing corn, and manufacturing all the by-products of corn, such as corn starch, xanthan gum, ethanol etc. All the additives which 21st century life seems to need.

But then in addition to all the history, the shift of emphasis to facts and figures about trade and industry, we also begin to get autobiographical information about Vicki Myron; her ancestors, her friends and co-workers, the bigwigs in the town, her current family. So now we have three different components. Searching for bits about the cat Dewey began to feel like searching for gold within the corn of Iowa.

Vicki Myron's family certainly had a rough life. They seemed to have more than their fair share of bad luck and poverty, illnesses such as cancer and depression, and alcoholism and suicide. Vicki Myron herself had a troubled marriage, had to fight for the right to have a professional job, to bring up her daughter on her own, to cope with teenage alienation, and to deal with her own chronic ill-health. Many of Spencer's inhabitants suffered, some in similar ways. Life was hard, and continues to be so for many small-town folk.

It would be wrong to lessen in any way the courage shown by these individuals, who have to work so hard to survive, and to continue in their community's way of life. The "message" of the book is that Dewey helped. Because they began to care about him, people began to regain their self-respect when they lost their jobs, or when times were tough and the future looked bleak. They began to smile more, and to fight to survive. There are stories about disabled children, or children who would never speak - until they met Dewey. Dewey brought people together, and made the library a focus for the community. And there are stories of visiting families from all over the world, as the fame of this little cat grew, of articles published in magazines, and even a small slot in a Japanese film.

I have no doubt this is true. Animals have a remarkable facility to make humans feel better. Stroking a pet has been shown to lessen stress, and slow down the heart rate. But the blurb of the book says,

"This is the heart-warming and unforgettable story of a truly idiosyncratic cat with a strong sense of loyalty and love, and a taste for fast-food".

There is just too much history of Iowa, too much ethnography, and far too much biography and autobiography, however admirable these people are. Perhaps it would interest some readers in itself, but it is of only limited interest in a book supposedly about a cat. ( )
  AlexisLovesBooks | Feb 9, 2016 |
I'm not a cat person but I am a librarian so any book that takes place in a library piques my interest. It's a pleasant read, and accessible even to young teen readers. Touching but not sappy, much like Dewey (although you're likely to shed a few tears on finishing). ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I loved this book. It probably helps that I love both cats and books, but even those who don't like cats can scarcely fail to be moved by this delightful true story.

Dewey was found as a tiny kitten, shivering on a cold night in a small town in Iowa called Spencer. He was adopted by the library... or, as gradually became clear, he adopted the library and its visitors. Most of all, though, he adopted Vicki Myron, the library director. She didn't have an easy life, and in many ways her relationship with Dewey kept her from going crazy.

I wasn't sure how an entire book could be written about one cat - but it works extremely well. The writing is good; pictures are painted of this small town and its problems as well as the way Dewey revolutionised the library, and crept into the hearts of all who knew him.

As was inevitable, the ending brought a tear to my eye. Saying goodbye to a much-loved animal is never easy, and Dewey was from all accounts a most remarkable cat. This book is a fitting tribute, which I would recommend to anyone.
( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |

A simply told, light read, that is enjoyable, but not great. Dewey Readmore Books started his career as Library Cat, when he was deposited in the book drop box on one of the coldest days in January, and subsequently adopted by the head librarian. I am not sure I understand the wide popularity of this memoir. It’s less about the cat, than it is about the librarian who adopted him. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
One frigid Midwestern winter night in 1988, a ginger kitten was shoved into the after-hours book-return slot at the public library in Spencer, Iowa. And in this tender story, Myron, the library director, tells of the impact the cat, named DeweyReadmore Books, had on the library and its patrons, and on Myron herself. Through her developing relationship with the feline, Myron recounts the economic and social history of Spencer as well as her own success story—despite an alcoholic husband, living on welfare, and health problems ranging from the difficult birth of her daughter, Jodi, to breast cancer. After her divorce, Myron graduated college (the first in her family) and stumbled into a library job. She quickly rose to become director, realizing early on that this was a job I could love for the rest of my life. Dewey, meanwhile, brings disabled children out of their shells, invites businessmen to pet him with one hand while holding the Wall Street Journal with the other, eats rubber bands and becomes a media darling. The book is not only a tribute to a cat—anthropomorphized to a degree that can strain credulity (Dewey plays hide and seek with Myron, can read her thoughts, is mortified by his hair balls)—it's a love letter to libraries. (Sept.)
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To Gran, Mom, and Jodi, three amazing women who loved Dewey almost as much as I do
First words
There is a thousand-mile table of land in the middle of the United States, between the Mississippi River on the east and the deserts on the west.
[Dewey] spent his time changing lives right here in Spencer, Iowa, one lap at a time.
Find your place. Be happy with what you have. Treat everyone well. Live a good life. It isn't about material things; it's about love. And you can never anticpate love.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446407410, Hardcover)

How much of an impact can an animal have? How many lives can one cat touch? How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world? You can't even begin to answer those questions until you hear the charming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa.

Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, (for a cat) and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.

As his fame grew from town to town, then state to state, and finally, amazingly, worldwide, Dewey became more than just a friend; he became a source of pride for an extraordinary Heartland farming town pulling its way slowly back from the greatest crisis in its long history.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:00 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat, starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the book return slot at the Spencer, Iowa, Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility (for a cat), and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.--From publisher description.… (more)

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