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Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World Mass Market Paperback – Mar 2009


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044655541X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446555418
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,033,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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

"Suzanne Toren wholeheartedly devotes herself to the first-person account of the author's travels with Dewey...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." (Publishers Weekly 2008-01-00)

"Cat fanciers will find great pleasure in 'Dewey,' the sweet story of a kitten who was left in a library drop box in Spencer, Iowa, one freezing winter night and became the focal point of a financially depressed little town that needed some cheering up." (Boston Globe 2008-01-00)

"Toren's voice remains upbeat while conveying the blend of love, bemusement, and occasional frustration that cat owners will identify with. Listeners -even those without cats of their own will enjoy getting acquainted with a friendly , mischevious cat..." (AudioFile 2009-01-00) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeannette McLaughlin on Jan. 12 2010
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a cat person per se (I have two dogs) but I ordered this book after reading all those praising comments from well-known authors, among others, as well as the customer reviews on the Amazon website. Unfortunately, I do not agree with most of the reviewers. In fact, I'm very surprised that this book was a #1 New York Times Bestseller! Although I agree that Dewey's story is touching and inspiring, I find that the book does not revolve enough around Dewey's life, but rather it revolves too much around the author's life...her alcoholic husband, her family, her challenges and struggles, her numerous surgeries and fragile health, the town of Spencer, etc. Instead of the author's personal story, which fills many pages or even chapters, a large portion of the book could have been filled with stories from library regulars, such as the homeless man who turned to Dewey for affection or the little girl with Down Syndrome who lightened up when she saw or touched Dewey. Actually, so many touching stories could have been told by the staff of the Spencer Public Library, who cared so lovingly for Dewey, as well as some stories chosen amongst the thousands and thousands of visitors who were enthralled by Dewey during his 19 years at the library. Instead, the author gets off-track from the very beginning. For example, besides the front jacket description, Dewey's name is mentioned for the first time in the last paragraph of the five-page introduction...the rest is all about Iowa! Besides two frivilous - and very short - mentions about Dewey in the 10 pages of chapter 6, the rest is all about the town of Moneta. And, in the eight pages of chapter 7, where Spencer is showcased, Dewey is mentioned only towards the end. And, not a single word about Dewey in the 12 pages of chapter 12...again, Spencer takes over! In fact, I think this book should have been titled,"Vicki - The Small-Town Librarian Whose Cat, Dewey, Touched the World"!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Pauline on Jan. 5 2009
Format: Hardcover
I love cats, I love libraries and I love cats that live in libraries or book shops. There is this little used bookshop in downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that is graced with the presence of a feline. During my first visit to this shop I was kneeling down on the floor looking at some books and reached out to touch a big fluffy pillow which turned out to be one big fat fluffy cat, I was delighted!

When I heard of "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" by Vicki Myron I had to read it. The first chapter about the rescue of Dewey from the returned book bin on the coldest night of the year is touching and it brought tears to my eyes. I also enjoyed reading about Dewey recovering and loving everyone he meets, but after the first few chapters the book just stops being magical and pretty much becomes a story that any cat owner could write. I was not that interested in the author's life and wanted to hear more about Dewey and his antics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Rennick on Aug. 16 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is meant for light reading and as such it's a good read. If you love cats you'll like this book. There are a lot of warm and touching parts in the book and you'll be able to empathize with Dewey and the people who took care of him and loved him. The author may have anthropomorphized Dewey a bit too much, but then, don't we all, as animal lovers, do the same? I know I do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By samantha on April 24 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderfully warm and uplifting book. You will definitely enjoy it, especially if you are an animal lover. If only all libraries could have cats!
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By Cicely on Jan. 28 2011
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading Dewey,The Small Town Library Cat and while it was not what I expected I thoroughly enjoyed it. Friends who had read the book just mentioned Dewey, but nothing about Spencer or the Library, which to me was a very important part of the Dewey's story. I loved reading about the history of the town and Vicki Myron's story. Mrs. Myron brought me into the town and I felt part of the family. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
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