Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

by Vicki Myron
(Synopsis from "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."

I really enjoyed this book, but some major flaws jumped out at me. Don't get me wrong, I love kitties. I have one myself who I think is even greater than Dewey, even though he bites you when he's hyper. Dewey was a special cat, but he's treated higher than he should be. The cat didn't exactly touch the world. His story spread throughout the globe, but I can hardly say Dewey has touched my life.

This story is cute. What is not to love about a cute little kitten who grows up and still does adorable things? The book is filled with Dewey's antics, from his picky eating to his love of sleeping in boxes.

What even more of the story focuses around than is necessary is Myron's own life. It is necessary to have a small amount of her own life to fully understand how mch Dewey affected her. She also includes some town history which is also necessary to understand how much Dewey was apprciated in the town of Spencer. But, after a while, it just sounded like a "woe is me" fest. Myron's mother had breas cancer five times, her brother committed suicide. Her other brother died at a young age. Myron herself had many medical complications arising from her pregnancy. Her husband was an alchoholic. That's not even all of the stories covered. There is more about Myron than Dewey.

If Vicki Myron wanted to write her own autobiography, she could have, but she shouldn't have used her beloved Dewey to get to that point. The book isn't about Dewey, it is about Vicki Myron's sturggles and the struggles of he hometown and how Dewey was able to make them somewhat happy through difficult times.

Grade: B-