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Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World: 11/12/09

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World is a biography of a well-lived library cat and a memoir of the librarian who cared for him. Even if you haven't read the book you're probably aware of the start of Dewey's career; he was dumped down the book return slot in the middle of winter as an eight week old kitten. Except for a brief time when he explored the outside of the library and got lost, Dewey spent the bulk of his almost twenty year life living in the Spencer Public Library.

Along with Dewey's biography, Vicki Myron includes a history of Spencer as it suffered through the collapse of the American family run farm in the mid 1980s. As families were losing their farms and homes and businesses were closing the residents of Spencer needed a morale boost. Dewey Readmore Books as he was dubbed by the town was just the pick up they needed

There is a lot of padding in the book in the form of Myron's own memoir of her failed marriage, raising her child and other dramatic points in her life. These moments should be the glue that holds the events in Spencer to the events in Dewey's life, they didn't work for me. They disrupted the flow of the biography and I ended up skimming or skipping through them

Most of my local BookCrossing friends had already read Dewey but the time my mother gave me a copy. The one comment I had heard from all of them was: "the ending is so sad!" The book covers Dewey's entire life from the moment he first arrives at the library until the very end of his life. A two decade life, though, for a cat is a remarkable one. The ending isn't what I would call sad; it's truthful

In case you're wondering, that's really Dewey on the cover. He looks very different in the black and white snapshots peppered throughout the book. The cover was done by a professional and Dewey was a bit of a ham for the camera.

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