Becky's Reviews > Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

Dewey by Vicki Myron
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Nov 09, 08

bookshelves: age-adult-books, nonfiction
Recommended for: cat lovers, library lovers
Read in November, 2008

I finally read it -- the book that I've seen advertised every time I log onto Goodreads, open a library journal, or walk into a bookstore. I have to admit, although I'm only giving it three stars, the cover gets five stars. It markets itself.

I think what I will take away from this book is the fact that it did change my mind on something. I read on the jacket flap, "How is it possible for an abandoned kitten to transform a small library, save a classic American town, and eventually become famous around the world?" And my inner cynic (yes, I do have one) reared up and said "Snort! I'd like to know. This book is trying to be a Hallmark card." But the story of Dewey the library cat illustrated the importance of little things (someone to touch, someone to greet you) to the morale that is the bedrock for larger improvements and changes (civic pride, optimism). In that way, I did think it was necessary to know the background of Vicki Myron's struggles. They made the ending all the more poignant and tearjerking.

I also enjoyed the descriptions of the small town of Spencer and the role played by its library. Never having lived in a small town, the window into a different life is always interesting. So are men's names like "Squeege" and "Clebus."

And I enjoyed this admittedly Hallmark-y quote:

"Why come all this way?...Were they hoping to find a cat, a library, a town, an experience that was genuine, that wasn't from the past or for the moment, that was different from their lives but somehow familiar? Is that what Iowa is all about? Maybe the heartland isn't just the place in the middle of the country; maybe it's also the place in the middle of your chest."

Yeah, take that, inner cynic.
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