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Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World Hardcover – International Edition, September 24, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–8—Myron's best seller about the resident cat at the Spencer Public Library in Iowa has been adapted for middle grade readers. The references to most of the author's personal problems, which peppered her adult book, have been removed, and Dewey's story stands on its own. The anecdotes remain the same, with some concessions made to the experiences of younger readers: explaining, for instance, who Alf and Spuds McKenzie were, or pointing out that "back in the day" TV cartoons were only seen on Saturday mornings. Dewey's special brand of "pay-it-forward" love has immense appeal, and fans of animal stories will immediately gravitate toward the book, with its handsome reproduction of the feline's now-famous portrait on the cover. As Myron's anecdotes show, the joy and comfort that Dewey provided to countless patrons over 18 years was not something that could be cataloged, or indexed, or highlighted in a trustee's report. But it was real and evident to the staff and library regulars. Dewey will no doubt have young readers pining for their own library cats, but astute readers will also pick up on the message that a town's heart beats strongest in its library.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (September 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446407410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446407410
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hardy HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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77 of 88 people found the following review helpful By J. Stone on October 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By KidsReads on June 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Who placed the kitten in the library book drop? To this day, that question remains unanswered in Spencer, Iowa. No doubt the person felt that whoever discovered the kitten would find it a good home. It certainly was a lucky day for the scrawny, half-frozen, bedraggled-looking kitty when librarian Vicki Myron found him tucked in a corner of the book drop. Vicki carefully warmed, cleaned up, and fed the little stowaway. The kitten showed no fear of people --- in fact, he responded to their kindness with sincere affection and trust. The library board reluctantly agreed to allow him to take up residence at the library.

The little orange and white kitten was soon dubbed Dewey Readmore Books, Dewey for short. Dewey had the run of the library and as much attention and affection as any kitten could ever want. He attended staff meetings when he felt like it, and story hour, where he befriended the special needs children; walked among the shelves of books and napped where and when he chose; looked for welcoming laps and usually found them; and showed up daily in the lunchroom to get a few licks of yogurt and some attention. Dewey was both lucky and spoiled.

After the library staff left each evening, Dewey had the whole place to himself. He must have had quite a time of it, locating cozy spots to hide, seeking out rubber bands --- which he loved to eat --- doing whatever struck his fancy. Each morning he was at the front door waiting for Vicki, who took him home on weekends and holidays when the library was closed. During one three-week period when the library was being remodeled, Dewey spent the entire time at Vicki's.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By DB on June 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the first book Dewey the library cat and thought this was a follow up. It was the same book just a few bigger pictures and different cover. I was kind of let down. Wish I had know it was the same as the first book I could have saved some money, oh well. I am looking forward to the Xmas book about Dewey.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Lockey on October 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book and I'm actually from Spencer, Iowa. The photographer that is mentioned Rick Krebsbach took my senior pictures and saved my grandmother from choking to death at a local pizza joint when I was younger. This book is very well written and really made me feel homesick.

It also reminded me how much fun it was to have a cat in the library-Dewey would often sit on my lap. I am a cat lover and I would coax him over. The library was a great place to spend time when it was -20 degrees outside and you had a warm cat on your lap.

The book really does a great job describing Spencer, IA and the people there. The people are very kind, giving and special. By the end of the book, you feel like you know everyone she mentions-even though I do know most of them! :)

Wonderful read!!!
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