Synopses & Reviews
is the heartwarming story of Dewey Readmore Books, the beloved library cat of Spencer, Iowa
, as told by his owner and companion of nineteen years, Vicki Myron, the librarian who found him on a frigid January morning when he was abandoned as a kitten in the book drop slot. It is also the story of a remarkable small town, which burned down at the beginning of the Depression, only to rebuild itself, and which was almost shuttered during the farm crisis of the 1980s, before regrouping and rededicating itself to small town American values. Dewey's local charm and worldwide fame became a symbol of hope for this recovering town. Through Dewey's antics, we come to know and love many of the colorful and inspiring people of Spencer. But perhaps the most inspiring person in Spencer is Vicki Myron herself, a single mother who survived the bankruptcy of her family farm and working in a box factory to put two of her brothers through college to become one of the leaders of the Iowa
library system. Dewey is one lovable, roguish cat who managed to transform an entire town and inspire people across the globe.
"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.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This charming and heartwarming story of an extraordinary feline will be welcomed by cat lovers and all librarians who wish they had a library cat." Library Journal
"Intimate portrait of a place snugly set within its historical moment, preserved in Myron's understated, well-polished prose." Kirkus Reviews
"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
"What an extraordinary story of love, courage and devotion. I will not soon forget the good people of Spencer, Iowa and their wonderful library cat. Dewey is truly inspiration for the soul." Jack Canfield, co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul
"Dewey is charming, lovely, and moving. It's about life and death and small-town values and, above all, love. Norton would have liked Dewey the cat and the book immensely." Peter Gethers, author of The Cat Who Went to Paris
"Iowa has produced great Hall of Famers, like baseball's Bob Feller. Iowa has now produced a true feline Hall of Famer, a loveable library celebrity named Dewey, who put Spencer, Iowa, on the international map. This book is a purring good read, whether you are a cat lover, or not." Jim Fanning, former Major League Baseball player and manager
"The story of Dewey, author Vicki Myron, and Spencer, Iowa, captures what makes small town life worth preserving a sense of community. Dewey rekindles my belief that one person (together with one cat) can change lives. Vicki gives Spencer's famous library cat a 10th life by writing this engaging biography." Christie Vilsack, former First Lady of Iowa and President of The Vilsack Foundation
"I picked this book up dubiously, expecting a big, gooey cinnamon roll of a read....Instead, I made it to the last page and I was crying when I got there....Every town should have a Dewey." Christian Science Monitor
"Although a few recent books have made household names out of two canines named Marley and Enzo, it's a pretty safe bet that before long Dewey's fame will have spread further and further abroad and his tale will become legendary for that most unique breed of felines the library cats." Bookreporter.com
Dewey's story starts in the worst possible way. Only a few weeks old, on the coldest night of the year, he was stuffed into the returned book slot at the Spencer Public Library. He was found the next morning by library director, Vicki Myron, a single mother who had survived the loss of her family farm, a breast cancer scare, and an alcoholic husband. Dewey won her heart, and the hearts of the staff, by pulling himself up and hobbling on frostbitten feet to nudge each of them in a gesture of thanks and love. For the next nineteen years, he never stopped charming the people of Spencer with his enthusiasm, warmth, humility, (for a cat) and, above all, his sixth sense about who needed him most.
About the Author
Vicki Myron was born on a farm fifteen miles from Spencer, Iowa. At the age of thirty-four, after a failed marriage, single motherhood, and a stint on welfare, she graduated summa cum laude from Mankato State University and has a masters degree from Emporia State University.She worked at the Spencer Public Library for twenty-five years, the last twenty as director. She lives in Spencer, Iowa.