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Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World Hardcover


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Frequently Bought Together

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World + Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions + Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library!
Price for all three: $36.39

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 277 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (September 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446545163
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446545167
  • ASIN: 0446407410
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (840 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 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

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Customer Reviews

His story will warm your hearts, make you laugh and cry.
Gail Cooke
If you're a cat lover, love true stories/memoirs, "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" by Vicki Myron is the book for you.
MissLilTazzy
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read, a heartwarming and moving story.
J. Corbitt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

373 of 403 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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80 of 87 people found the following review helpful By R. 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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74 of 85 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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67 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Schmerguls VINE VOICE on September 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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