Dewey wins Goldfinch Award
Movie version of his story has stalled
Dewey Readmore Books is No. 1 once again, this time in his home state.
Author Vicki Myron was pleased to learn she had won the Iowa Association of School Librarians' Goldfinch Award for "Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library," which claimed the top spot with Florida's children in 2011, and is also in the running for a similar award in Nebraska.
"Not only do teachers choose the book, but the children choose the book as well and that's wonderful," Myron said.
According to the IASL website, students in preschool through third grade nominated the book to the Goldfinch Award Committee, which reads and creates a list of those books. That book is introduced to new students in the spring, and voting takes place until the following spring.
The purpose of the award is "to encourage children to read more and better books; to discriminate in choosing worthwhile books; to provide an avenue for positive dialogue between teacher, parent and children about books and authors; (and) to give recognition to those who write books for children," according to the website.
To qualify, books must be written within five years of the nomination period. Students must read, or listen to, five books to qualify and may vote for only one title they have read.
All of these requirements were fulfilled unbeknownst to Myron.
"I didn't even know about the Iowa award until we won," she said.
"Dewey: There's a Cat in the Library," is one of two picture books detailing the life of Spencer's famous feline. "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World" was the impetus for the collection, that now includes a middle-grade book and another adult book titled "Dewey's Nine Lives: The Legacy of the Small-Town Library Cat Who Inspired Millions."
Myron was content with the response to her latest adult book.
"Nine Lives has done very well, though not as well as the first book," Myron said. "Everyone who read the first book wanted to read the second book. I'm still getting tons of fan mail every day and hearing from people all over the country. Now that the weather's warmer, we're getting a lot of visitors in Spencer again -- people who want to see where Dewey lived -- not just from the U.S., but other countries."
While she's pleased with those results, she was not pleased with the script brought forth by New Line Cinema for a potential movie. An extension with the company runs through June, but all signs point to the contract going void without a film being produced.
"I know they're not doing anything because they have to be in production in June to keep it and, as far as I know, they're not in production at all," Myron said.
She called the proposed script "disappointing" and indicated the film may be shopped to another company once the contract is up.
"If that's the kind of movie they wanted to make, I'm happy they're not making it because the script was awful," Myron said.
Some of the offenses were more egregious than others.
"The script made fun of Iowa, made fun of Spencer, changed Dewey's personality and I got fired in the movie," Myron said. "One of my favorite mistakes is that at the Clay County Fair (it said) the only thing we do for entertainment there is jump on corn kernels. That's how hokey it was."
She went on to say she is not worried about whether her book is turned into a movie or not.
"Unless they make the right movie, I really don't care if they make a movie," Myron said. "I'd either have it right or nothing at all."