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Book Review: Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat who Touched the World

Book Review: Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat who Touched the World

This is a story about a little cat, found abandoned in a library drop box on a cold winter’s night. Don’t worry though – the poor creature was saved by the staff at the library and nursed back to health. They named him Dewey, after the universal library book-finding system. As the cat grew up, it began to reveal its big-hearted personality to all visitors at the library and it eventually became famous all around the world. A heart-warming tale that comes thoroughly recommended for older children and young adults.


When our little Dewey was found abandoned the library staff took him in and tried their best to make him better. Their efforts paid off, and Dewey the Library Cat became the talk of the town. Set in the tiny town of Spencer, Iowa (in the USA), the story tells of the author’s life with Dewey, their triumphs and tribulations together, and examples of Dewey making people’s lives better one step at a time. Loved by children and adults alike, Dewey’s tale will strike a chord with many readers, and remind us of how our pets have improved our own lives.


It’s an unusual book, as it’s a biography for a cat! As books about animals are becoming more popular, it fits with the other books on the market. It’s also very well structured, especially because it centres on Dewey and his role in people’s lives – many writers can get distracted, and goes off topic, when the reader only really wants to read about the animal on the front page! It’s also good because most of the book is about Dewey’s life as a young to middle-aged cat, and it doesn’t dwell too long on his old age and death, but it still shows the author’s depth of emotion during the difficult time and helps us all to sympathise with her.


The author’s style of writing is easy to understand for most readers, and it feels as if she’s really talking to you personally. She talks of all these different people who came to see Dewey, and even gives his opponents and enemies a fair hearing. You can feel her passion when she talks about politics or her pride for Spencer during its deepest and darkest moments. You can sense her frustration when her bosses are hurtful to Dewey in his old age and are more concerned about how he looks than the joy he brings to so many people.


Perhaps the author focuses a little too much on Spencer. The reader already understands that it is a small town, separated from larger towns and cities by hundreds of miles of corn fields. So when she describes the economic farming struggle (meaning, farms not making as much money as they used to) it doesn’t always feel relevant. You can tell the author is proud of her town, but sometimes she does talk about this too much, rather than Dewey himself.


In spite of this, the book is a good read, especially if you’re a fan of other animal books like Marley and Me. So what are you waiting for, why not read this heart-warming tale and let us know what you think!


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