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Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World [Kindle Edition]

Vicki Myron , Bret Witter
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (868 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $4.00 (29%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a world where a bad dog topped bestseller lists for years, it's inevitable that a library cat would soon make a bid to win the hearts of a nation. According to Mayron, this has already happened. Dewey is not bad, just occasionally mischievous enough to provide opportunities for the narrator to coo. Suzanne Toren wholeheartedly devotes herself to the first-person account of the author's travels with Dewey and only occasionally meanders into the sugar bowl. Dewey's story is a testament to how something small with a big heart can have an incalculable effect on a community. Anyone with at least one cat is guaranteed to get a lump in his or her throat as the orange fluff-ball connects with a severely disabled girl in one particularly affecting scene, memorably brought to life by Toren in her librarian persona. A Grand Central hardcover (Reviews, July 28). (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Her first thought upon hearing a strange sound coming from the book drop one frigid January morning was “this can’t be good.” In fact, for both the tiny kitten found shivering in the metal box’s corner and for Myron, director of the Spencer Public Library, the discovery was the best thing that ever happened to either of them, and to the tiny Iowa farming community beset by an unrelenting string of economic challenges. Filthy and frostbitten, the kitten was in dire need of massive doses of TLC; fortunately, the library staff, patrons, and townspeople had plenty to spare. The story of how a bedraggled orange fur ball became “Dewey Readmore Books,” an enchantingly irresistible library mascot capable of bringing international attention to a small midwestern town and melting the heart of even the most curmudgeonly visitor, is uplifting enough; but woven among the cute-cat anecdotes are Myron’s own inspirational stories of enduring welfare, the abuses of an alcoholic husband, breast cancer, and single motherhood. Myron’s beguiling, poignant, and tender tale of survival, loyalty, and love is an unforgettable study in the mysterious and wondrous ways animals, and libraries, enrich humanity. --Carol Haggas

Product Details

  • File Size: 573 KB
  • Print Length: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (September 24, 2008)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FA0O8M
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,575 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
374 of 404 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HAPPY, HEARTWARMING, AND HOPEFUL September 17, 2008
Remember Marley: A Dog Like No Other, a canine greatly loved by his master? Well, here is Dewey, an abandoned orange kitten not only beloved by his mistress but by the entire town of Spencer, Iowa.

Dewey's origins were questionable as was his introduction to library director Vicki Myron. January 18, 1988 was a frigid Monday in Spencer. "It was a killing freeze, the kind that made it almost painful to breathe." When Vicki arrived at the library that morning her assistant told her she had heard a noise coming from a metal slot, the library's after-hours drop box behind the building. Soon, they both heard the noise and thought it was an animal. The opening of the box was only a few inches wide, so whatever it was had to be very small. Being metal the box was even colder than it was outside, and there in a corner of the box was a tiny kitten.

It was the most pitiful thing she had ever seen, so thin she could see every rib, and she could feel its heart beating, its lungs pumping. "The poor kitten was so weak it could barely hold up its head, and it was shaking uncontrollably. It opened its mouth, but the sound which came two seconds later, was weak and ragged." But one look into his big eyes and she was Dewey's and he was hers.

Dewey was not the only one who had endured hardship - Vicki was a single mom who had lost the family farm and survived an abusive husband. The people of Spencer were going through tough times during the farm crisis of that time. Depression, ennui seemed to be everywhere.

Nonetheless, Vicki was determined to capture the interest of those who came to the small library and hopefully make them a little happier. With the help of Dewey she did that and more.
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81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Cat, Good Humans October 20, 2008
Dog lovers who are also readers have had some good books to get through in the past couple of years, like _Marley and Me_ or _From Baghdad with Love_. If they really wanted to read a classic, there was always _My Dog Skip_. Cat people may now rejoice, as may anyone who has an interest in pets, or how people get along with pets, or just in a good story. _Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World_ (Grand Central Publishing) is a lovely, loving story written by Vicki Myron (with Bret Witter), the former librarian of the little town of Spencer, Iowa. Dewey was a remarkable cat, since cats are not generally known for their outgoing natures, and some of the stories about him seem, well, too good to be true. But there is documentation! A whole town got to know this cat, not just library staff; reporters came in to tell his story, as did documentary film makers. As remarkable as Dewey was, the librarians and other citizens who came to love him are revealed to be just as remarkable; this is a perfect story of how pets are good for people and vice versa.

Dewey became a library cat in the most fitting of ways. He came into the Spencer Public Library via the book return slot. He didn't volunteer - he was far too small a kitten on that cold January morning of 1988. Someone thought it would be a good idea to shove a kitten in there. The poor cold cat could hardly stand, and it was grey with dirt; only cleaning it up revealed it to be a long-haired orange tabby. His paws were frostbitten, but he hobbled to each of the librarians as if to thank them for the rescue. It was the sort of thing he would continue to do for nineteen years, welcoming anyone who came into the library's front doors, attending meetings, sitting in laps, posing for photos, and generally being agreeable.
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74 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Symbol of Spencer October 27, 2008
This book is for everybody. Whether you are a child or an adult, whether you like cats or not, even whether you like reading or not! It is a really heartwarming story that reads very easy and that will fill your heart with great affection. It is a story of an extraordinary cat, a librarian, and their lives in a small Iowa town. It's a story that brought the little town of Spencer onto the world map. The Japanese television filmed Dewey, and after he died, his obituary ran in over 200 papers. But most of all, this isn't just another cat story; it's a story of survival, endurance, trust, and hope. Finally, it is a story about love and living a good life. You will understand all that after you read the final few chapters.

I highly recommend this book! You will fall in love with Dewey after reading the first few pages. I promise you that! For more heartwarming stories about another ginger cat I suggest the series of Why Some Cats are Rascals ( Book 3). Read them all - you will want to share the stories with your loved ones.
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67 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly poignant September 19, 2008
Unless you are a cat-hater and especially hard-hearted I can guarantee that you will not read this book with dry eyes. The book tells the story of a kitten found in the return book slot of the City Library at Spencer, Iowa, and that kitten's extraordinary personality, his devotion to doing his self-appointed duty toward those who loved him and the patrons of the library, and the effect he had on all who came to know him. This is the best book about a cat I think I have ever read--certainly the best non-fiction account. I have not been so affected since I read (and re-read) The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford (read 12 Nov 1972 - re-read 15 Apr 1991), but that was fiction whereas this book is glowingly true. Do yourself a favor--read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
If you love cats, this is a great story that will make you so sad and happy at the same time.
Published 3 days ago by dahak-LOD
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I loved reading about Dewey. What a wonderful story about an amazing cat. As another person wrote, I miss Dewey even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him!
Published 5 days ago by KarenMc
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read small town story of the real meaning of ...
Easy read small town story of the real meaning of community.
Published 9 days ago by jb
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
This book is a cute story that is a little bit advanced for beginning readers. There is also a picture book available, if your young reader wants to read it. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Jennifer L. Biggs
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was what I wanted for birthday gifts for my daughters who have cats!
Published 11 days ago by Dorothy Witzel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it!
Published 12 days ago by Joe Beck
4.0 out of 5 stars the right cat can make a difference in many small ways
I had never heard of Dewey Readmore Books or Spencer, Iowa when I found this book at a used book store. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Mia
4.0 out of 5 stars What's not to like?
Bought as gift (but carefully read it first!) Charming story.
Published 15 days ago by Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars but love it so far
I have not finished reading this book, but love it so far.
Published 16 days ago by James M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 18 days ago by marie louise bashaw
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Topic From this Discussion
Fact or Fiction?
Mar 4, 2009 by Megan Freeman |  See all 5 posts
Dewey - Reading Grade Level??
As I mentioned to a previous question, this book is very much suited to a preteen. If you doubt it, read the book first. I read it on a flight to visit my daughter and I finished it on the flight home. Be prepared to shed a few tears at the end. (Marley is the same way--book about that dog,... Read More
Dec 16, 2008 by MO |  See all 6 posts
More than a Cat Story
Hello Cynthia,

I finished reading Dewey, just love it. Would like to discuss with you. I am a cat lover and i had cats before. just as clever, peace, smart and beautiful as Dewey.

Thank you.
Dec 1, 2008 by P. Kui |  See all 5 posts
What is the content of this book?
A book anyone can read - no harsh language or sexual references at all. As for the message, it's about an abandoned kitten that was rescued and the lives he touched during his lifetime. Just be ready for the sad and predictable ending.
Aug 14, 2009 by D. J. Timperlake |  See all 2 posts
Dewey on Kindle- pics?
There is a picture at the beginning of each chapter but they are not as clear or sharp as illustrations. After finishing the book on Kindle, I went to Dewey's homepage so I could see them better (and in color.)
Mar 18, 2009 by Amazon Customer |  See all 2 posts
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