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Craig & Fred by Craig Grossi

 

It's time for summer reading, and it's not just for students any more! This year Cheverus' summer reading program is open to alumni and parents. The book that is on every Cheverian's summer reading list is Craig and Fred, an autobiographical account of a US Marine veteran of the Afghanistan War (Craig) and his friendship with a dog (Fred) that he saved and that in turn saved him. The book connects with readers on many levels: most obviously as an account of the affection and uncanny bond between people and dogs, but also as a combat memoir, a travelogue, and a moving story of veterans healing from the trauma of war.

The school will be hosting several events in the coming year that are based on the book and that honor our veterans, especially Cheverus alumni who have served in the military. Alumni and parents are cordially invited to participate in these events. First, upon the students' return to school in the fall, we will commemorate 9/11 by breaking into small groups to discuss the book and its themes. The discussions will be led by upperclassmen under faculty supervision. We are also planning an evening session especially for alumni and parents led by Jane Glass, our librarian. Next, on November 7 (the Thursday before Veteran's Day), Craig and Fred will be on campus to share their story and answer questions at a school-wide assembly, and alumni and parents are encouraged to attend. Lastly, in the spring, several Cheverus alumni who are veterans of our recent conflicts in the Middle East will be coming to campus to share their experiences with students.  Planning for these events is still underway, so please look for more information as the dates draw near.

Summer reading has been a long tradition at Cheverus, but an ever-evolving one. This is the fifth year that we have selected a book to be read over the summer by the entire community. Each one has been picked by a different department on a rotating basis. Craig and Fred is the History Department's selection; other recent community-wide reads have included Salt to the SeaStation ElevenParched and One Goal. Having everyone in the school community read the same book and share their reflections about that common experience builds community and mutual understanding. This year's selection in particular affords the school an opportunity to reach out to our alumni, especially those with a connection to the military, and remind our students of the Cheverus' proud tradition of service to the community and nation.