Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Sometimes the world seems divided into cat people and dog people. One other observation is that cats and libraries seem to go together just like Dalmatians go together with fire stations. One cat book that became a huge bestseller and remains a favorite of readers and book group members who are looking for not just a feline story, but a cheerful story is Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.

There are two surprising elements of this book. It doesn't just appeal to cat fanciers and it's not just a just a story about an orange tabby who lived at a library for 19 years. Yes, Dewey was a wonderfully idiosyncratic pussycat with a great disposition who sat in the laps of the staff and patrons at the Spencer Public Library in the farm town of Spencer, Iowa.  Yes, Dewey was incredibly photogenic and talented and attracted news crews from as far away as Japan and journalists from throughout the United States and Europe. And, yes one of the things the book does really well is capture Dewey’s sparkling personality and how his presence helped bring together the people of a town.

The book is also a very realistic portrayal of small town life and particularly of farm life and how the rise and fall of the economy affects small farms and farm families. Additionally, Dewey is the story of the librarian who finds the tiny kitty in the book drop and how she helped save herself from personal issues and how she helped save her library. As one reader said, Dewey and the librarian just needed each other. And, the town needed Dewey.

The Monrovia Library owns Dewey and also the sequels.  Dewey’s Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions, like the original, is for adult readers.  Children will enjoy Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story.

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