5 Minutes for Books: Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World is about a small town in Iowa who finds a cold starving kitten in the book drop one morning. Vicki Myron is the librarian who lobbies to keep him as a library cat, and thanks to the agreement of the board, Dewey Readmore Books becomes an irreplaceable member of the community. He gains worldwide attention, but none of this goes to his head. He remains oblivious to the attention, and continues to curl up in the lap of the library patron who needs it most that day, scavenge for rubber bands, and wave at Vicki each day as she came to work.

This isn’t just Dewey’s story. It’s Vicki’s too — how she survived a difficult marriage, single parenthood, and recurring illness in the midst of finding her niche in the small Iowa library. It’s also the story of a town — Spencer, Iowa — and it’s ups and downs as industry pulls out and this farming community hits hard times.

I don’t particularly love cats, but I do enjoy a good heartwarming animal story, and I do love libraries. If you enjoy any of these types of stories, I can heartily recommend Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.

We have five copies to give away. You can win either the hardcover book, or the audiobook version. I haven’t heard the audiobook, but this kind of story is my favorite to “read” as an audiobook. Please let me know which you prefer.

For an extra chance to win
, please leave a question for author Vicki Myron. She is recording a podcast on November 17, and they want to know what sort of questions you have for her! I’ll let you know if your question is selected, and I’ll publish a link to the podcast when it’s available.

If you post a question, also be sure to leave a separate comment (as your second bonus entry) telling me if you’d prefer the audiobook or hardcover book.

The winners of 201 Things to do When Kids Say I’m Bored:
#144 Jennifer Short
#245 flared0ne
#243 Marcia S.


  1. says

    I think my question would be something like ‘how much of the story is auto biographical for the author herself rather than the cat?’ except phrased more politely!
    Best wishes

  2. says

    My question for the author would be:

    What do you think made Dewey so appealable and lovable? What made him different than other cats?

    As a cat lover I find this book to be something I would love.

    Thanks for the extra entry!

  3. says

    Ok my question is more about being an author then this particular book

    “what do you do to get the juices flowing when you are suffering from writers block??”

    Thanks for the extra entry and I really would like to know the answer to the question LOL

  4. Carolsue says

    I am a cat fanatic–I have been wanting this book ever since I first heard about it! I would prefer the hardcover.

  5. Carolsue says

    I read something somewhere about clearing this with the Health Department because of allergies to cats, etc. I didn’t really read the whole article. Can you elaborate on that, please?

  6. says

    For me second entry, I’d ask the author this:

    -Is this a true story?

    -Were there people that disagreed with the majority of the town about having a “library cat”

  7. says

    I heard about this book, and it sounds wonderful and heartwarming! I would love to gift a copy to my cat-loving mother-in-law. Hardcover for me, if I win please. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Katherine Frazier says

    I just heard about this book from my dentist, and I have a Libby the librarian kitty rescued from outside our local library, she is the most trusting gentle and giving kitty. I would love the audiobook..my question What person was the most changed by Dewey?

  9. says

    Sounds like a good book! I love to read and am always looking for new authors and books! Thanks for the opportunity! I would like the autobook. I would like to try it out in the kitchen when I am cooking! thanks again!

  10. says

    I would love to win this book! I think I’d prefer the audio version…it would be a good impetus to (try to) remove the loonies and quarters that my toddler meticulously fed into the CD player in the car!

  11. says

    This looks like a very sweet book. I would have a hard time choosing between the versions, but I think I’d pick the audiobook so my son could also enjoy listening to it (at bedtime).

  12. Dianne F. says

    Saw the story of “Dewey” on TV – either 60 Minutes or one of the other News Magazine-type shows. Great story! Never wanted a cat – own two adoptees, plus 2 dogs – that I can’t see life without anymore. I will be devastated when they are gone. Each has a different personality. Would love the hard cover book to read and tell my grandchildren about so they can learn to appreciate life – not just human – all life.

  13. sito says

    I would ask if Dewey came along when she was at a low point spiritually and whether or not Dewey’s appearance gave her a new perspective on how she perceives God.

  14. says

    My question for the author —

    I have shopped in a lot of antique and other shops that have resident cats living there. It is so much fun to browse around and find sleeping cats here and there…..I am very much a cat person….but I can understand how this might turn someone off.

    How does the library cat’s situation affect those who detest cats OR have cat allergies? Has this ever been an issue?


  15. Matthew Meisenhelder says

    hardback would be my choice.

    my question is : have you ever felt that animals could understand you, on a really connected level? some people feel than can communicate with animals. do you?

  16. Ena says

    What an intriguing book – especially for animal lovers who spend a lot of time in the library. :)

    Since I never get the time to sit down and actually read a book, I’d like to enter for the audiobook. I’ve been able to “read” many books that way – while driving, shopping, cleaning, etc.

  17. Ena says

    As a fellow Iowan, I can attest for the charm of the small Midwestern community and its people.

    The question: Was the intent behind the book solely to talk about this extraordinary cat living in an unusual environment, or is there more to it – like a nostalgic ode to the small-town Iowa community?


  18. Yvonne Butler says

    I would want the audio version to give my daughter to listen to as she goes to work. She is not like me because I love to read. She has been trying to read some lately but this would be ideal for her to listen to on her way to work. After I listen of course. Thank you for this chance.

  19. sandy says

    would love to have the audio if I won- could listen while I drive..but love reading the book

    my question is how did they bypass the cat in a public place- especially govt owned –

  20. Jeane says

    How fun is it to see your name on the best seller’s list? Did you always feel that you had a “book” in you?

    Love audiobooks.

  21. Kathy D says

    i love audiobooks…. I am finshing Lucky Me by Michael J Fox….. If you are looking for a great book this one is good

  22. Laura says

    I would love the audiobook!
    Question for author: Did you have problems with any of the library’s patrons having cat allergies?

  23. karen c. says

    I’ve heard of this book before and always thought it was non-fiction, but the description makes it sound like a really good story. (Only now I’m not sure if it’s fiction or not, forgive me if that makes me sound really ignorant.) I’d prefer to read the hardcover version.

  24. Roger Keeney says

    Though I am blind, I do love cats, and I prefer the hard cover version, I will scann it and listen on my computer, then have the book on my shelf to loan to others.

  25. jwb says

    I’m an animal lover AND a librarian, so Dewey is my kind of mascot! I’d love to have the audiobook version, as I do a lot of driving.

  26. Shelley Krush says

    I am love to read and LOVE cats so would LOVE to read this.

    I would like the hard cover one if I should be lucky enough to win.


  27. M.A. says

    I’d like a hardcover and would ask if there was ever a problem with any library patron being bothered by either allergies or asthma as far as Dewey was concerned.

  28. Jill Miller says

    I was just looking at this book the other day, but decided against getting it because I’m trying to save money. I would be thrilled to win the hardcover!

  29. danielle says

    I’d pick audio book so it could be shared. What was the authors first writing attempts, and age at which she knew she wanted to write.

  30. Cynthya says

    I’d like to know how having a bestseller has changed your life and if you ever believed the book would be such a success?

    I’d love to have the hardcover if I win. Thank you!

  31. Sharon says

    As one who works in a library, loves to read AND owns 12 cats, I would love to read about this very lucky cat! I prefer the Hardcover please.

    Thank you for offering this as a giveaway!

  32. Eloise Carlson says

    This book sounds very heartwarming and cute. I would prefer the hardcover version. Thanks so much for sucha wonderful giveaway!


  33. Perri Rendon says


    I am new to the forum and to the emails…but I look forward to learning more about your forum.

    That book is so befitting for us. I am recently divorced, come from a small town in Michigan…we moved closer to the city after the divorce…I am currently looking for a job after 17 years of being a home maker…and we just rescued a small kitten a couple of weeks ago… that story sounds so befitting…lol…

    look forward to our chance at winning…

    good luck everyone,

  34. Perri Rendon says

    oops I did it again…I forgot to put the link in the response…



    <a href=”http://www.5minutesformom.com/4734/under-the-tree-

  35. says

    Question for the author for my second entry. My husband’s office has an “office cat” and I know of a jewelry store who has a “store cat”. My question is…how did that affect those who came in who had allergies? Was that one reason you had to lobby so hard to keep the cat as a “library cat”?

    Oh yes, and I prefer a hard copy.

  36. Clifton Wade says

    I love taking my wonderful and smart grandchildren to the library. The parents will not take them. thank you for this great contest and prize!

  37. says

    Question: Do you think having Dewey in the library encouraged more patrons to visit and check out books, and was there a substantial increase in circulation? Hardcover please.

  38. Carrie Baird says

    This looks like a good book. I would like to win the audio book. I listen to them a lot when I drive. Thanks for the contest!

  39. Jennelle Henderson says

    I’ve almost got a certificate in a library tech program and would love to have the hardcover of this book.

  40. PattiD says

    I would love to win this book! I am an animal lover and would also pass this book unto others when I was done. I can soooo relate to Victoria’s story too.

  41. PattiD says

    …and my question would be, how did you keep focus on writing when everything around you needs attention as well? I ask that, because that is what stops me always, things around me that need ME.

  42. Gaye McGill says

    I’d like to win the audiobook. This sounds like a wonderful story and I’d love to ask Vicki if it’s based on a true incident that she heard about or read about.

  43. Tina says

    My question would be “What got you through the difficult times of going through a divorce and being a single mother?”
    I would love to have the hardcover book! Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  44. Auriette says

    I love cats and libraries. If I am selected, I’d prefer the hardcover.

    Question for the author — did she keep a journal during this time in her life?

  45. Daphne says

    Met this great guy in a library, so married that librarian…27 years ago. We often go on long car trips so the audio book version would be a perfect way for us to share this wonderful library story.

    Vicki: What seems to create that magic connection between libraries and cats?

  46. says

    Ever since I’ve seen this book on the ‘bloggyspere’ I’ve wanted it..the cat kinda looks like mine..

    I would love the Hardcover copy…

  47. L Knott says

    Lots of info on this book because it was in IA!!! Lot of story lines about the changing town while this cat was in the library. No sex, violence. What better book to read! I would love to meet the author and thank her for taking time to add pleasure to so many. A Hardback is always a gift. Thanks!

  48. Betty C says

    My question would be “In giving Dewey permanent resident status in the library did you consider patrons who might be allergic to cats?”
    BTW I love cats.

  49. Helen says

    I’d love to win the audio book to listen to while I’m on the treadmill.

    I’d like to know from Lisa which books she’s reading or fellow authors she’s following.

  50. Lily Kwan says

    My question for Vicki Myron is: what is your favorite food?

    Please enter me into the contest for the hardcover book. Thanks!

  51. oona says

    My question for Vicki is: What were your favorite things to do when you were a child What did you want to be when you grew up?

    foxsquirrelrabbit AT gmail DOT com

  52. Elizabeth Ray says

    I’d like the hardcover.

    My question would be, “Any idea why smll bookstores so often have a resident cat?” (I approve, but I don’t think it’s because of mice.)

  53. Jennifer S. says

    I am a huge cat lover! With two purebred Bengals and an adopted stray, I’m kind of like the crazy cat lady. I would love to read the hardcopy book. Thank you so much for the great contest.

  54. Perri Rendon says

    I didn’t realize you get extra entries for feeds and newsletter…so here is my extra entry.


    <a href=”http://www.5minutesformom.com/4739/christmas-giveaway-

  55. Perri Rendon says

    I didn’t realize you get extra entries for feeds and newsletter…so here is my extra entry.

    Here is my other one for feeds…

    thank you,


    <a href=”http://www.5minutesformom.com/4739/christmas-giveaway-


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