Sunday, October 19, 2008

Review: Dewey, The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter

Winters in Spencer, Iowa are cold. Really cold. And on one January night in 1988 someone stuffed a tiny, orange kitten into the book drop at the Spencer Library. It was something of a miracle that he was alive when he was found in the morning. The drop was full of books and the slot had been stuck open, the frigid air circulating inside the metal box all night.

Vicki Myron, the library director, found him. The instant that she looked into his eyes the connection was made, they were bonded. The kitten was adopted by the library, staff and patrons alike, and named Dewey Readmore Books.

Not everyone was thrilled with having a cat in a public building. But Dewey won most everyone over. He was open and trusting and loved just about everyone. His winning personality made his residence in the library a huge success and soon the story started to spread. Over the next nineteen years people came from far and wide to meet the famous library cat and he got tons of fan mail.

This was a special animal that could sense which people needed his friendship the most on a day to day basis. The author, a single working mom with many health issues, was a frequent recipient of Dewey's empathetic presence, but she was far from the only one. Dewey helped many people, from the special needs child who didn't respond to any other stimulus, to the laid off factory worker combing through the job board, to the homeless man who came only to visit the cat and spoke to no one else.

Dewey did nothing but good in a place and time that sorely needed something to help it get through. The late eighties were hard on the farm industry and the family farms in places like Iowa suffered the most. This book is about far more than a cat. It is about a community hit with hard times who find the determination and cohesiveness to help each other when they need it the most.

This is an inspiring story and I loved every page of it. Be sure to check back on November 3-8, I will be having a contest to give away five copies of Dewey, courtesy of Hachette Book Group, as part of the Book Giveaway Carnival.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World is published by Grand Central. ISBN 978-0-446-40741-0

Order Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World from Amazon

10 comments:

Anonymous said...
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bermudaonion said...

I got this book last week and can't wait to read it. Glad to see you liked it.

S. Krishna said...

I have this one and can't wait to read it!

Lana said...

That was a really nice review. I've been wanting to read this one since it started cropping up around the blogosphere - I'm a sucker for books and fuzzy critters. I'm really looking forward to the giveaway! Thanks.

The Tome Traveller said...

URGH, had to delete my first spam comment. Well, I guess it had to happen sometime!

Jeane said...

I'll be watching for your giveaway. I do want to read this book.

Nicole said...

I have been wanting to ask for this, it sounds so good. The cover alone makes me want the book. Such a cutie.

wordlily said...

I remember when this one came out. But I still haven't read it yet, sigh. I've got a soft spot for it not only because it's set in a library, but also because it's a library in Iowa, primarily where I grew up.

tashiana said...

oh i love it when kittens and books mix--suuper adorable!
this sounds like a really cute read but is it long?
i mean how much could a cat in a library really do for 300 pages lol

js22 said...

I requested this book from my library after I saw it on a guceaway - I fell in love with the cover! I don't read non-fiction, and requested the book before I realized it was. I did read it cover to cover - what an amazing cat. I did feel that the author spent a lot of time talking about herself and her problems, and that made the book longer than it needed to be.
But I did enjoy it!

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.