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Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story by [Vicki Myron, Bret Witter]
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Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,720 ratings

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Length: 219 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Age Level: 8 - 12
Grade Level: 3 - 7

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --Booklist--Starred Review, August 1, 2008

An abandoned kitten serves as balm, comic relief and social director to a hard-pressed Midwestern town.

The feline came in through the book drop on a bone-crackingly cold winter's night. The place was the public library of Spencer, Iowa, where the corn grows nine feet high and the earth is so fertile "you would swear the ground is about to push up and tip the sky right out of the picture." But this was in the 1980s, when the farm crisis was in full tilt; lenders had foreclosed on 50 percent of the family farms in northwest Iowa by the end of the decade. Local librarian Myron paints a town in crisis: economically, socially and in terms of the human spirit. She was in crisis too and neatly tucks her own recovery into the larger story of the town's gradual rejuvenation. Named Dewey (after the decimal system), the kitten became the library mascot and a synecdoche: "He never lost his trust, no matter what the circumstances, or his appreciation for life...He was confident." Myron doesn't overplay this metaphor, but works it subtly as she depicts the town's fortunes reviving and shows Dewey playing his role in that revival with composure, social skills, patience and a measure of mischief. In an easeful voice and with an eye for detail, she delineates Spencer: its economic swings, the lay of the land, the Prairie Deco downtown. Dewey is the pivot; he even became a bit of a national celebrity, and the New York Times ran his obit. He was, this loving account demonstrates, the right cat in the right place for Spencer and most certainly for its librarian.

Intimate portrait of a place snugly set within its historical moment, preserved in Myron's understated, well-polished prose. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • ASIN : B0035II97K
  • Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (April 16, 2010)
  • Publication date : April 16, 2010
  • Language: : English
  • File size : 1375 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 219 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,720 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,720 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2014
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Top reviews from other countries

123 Jump
3.0 out of 5 stars Dewey
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2019
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vicki
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring history of Iowa and the life of the author.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2015
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7 people found this helpful
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june
5.0 out of 5 stars Dewey - Small town, a Library and the world'd most beloved cat
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2010
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Allen Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartwarming true story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2014
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Michael J.N.
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2009
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2 people found this helpful
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