Review: Craig and Fred (Young Reader's Edition) by Craig Grossi

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website: 
A heartwarming story of a stray dog and a U.S. Marine who met under the unlikeliest circumstances in Afghanistan—and who changed each other’s lives forever.

As part of an elite team of Marines, Craig Grossi was sent on his most dangerous assignment to the Sangin District of Afghanistan. He expected to face harsh conditions and violence from Taliban fighters.

What he didn’t expect was to meet a stray dog, with a big goofy head and little legs—a dog all on his own, filthy and covered in bugs, in a bomb-ridden district, but who carried himself with confidence. And even though the Marines have a rule against approaching strays, Craig couldn’t help but offer some food and a pat—and was shocked when the dog wagged his tail.

From that moment on, they were inseparable; whether out on missions or back at the base, the dog named Fred went along. When the time came for Craig to leave Afghanistan, he knew that Fred had to leave with him no matter what. And as Craig tried to get acclimated to civilian life, Fred was there for him.

This book tells the inspiring story of two friends who ultimately rescued each other, and the stubborn positivity and love that continue to shape their world.

When Craig and Fred first appeared on my doorstep I was a tad bit apprehensive. I don't read much non-fiction/memoirs; however, with a cute dog on the cover and an interesting tagline - "A marine, a stray dog, and how they rescued each other" - I was intrigued and willing to give it a try. 

As it turns out, I'm so incredibly happy I did! Craig and Fred is such a heartwarming (albeit slightly heartbreaking) story of friendship, loyalty, and finding a "home," no matter where you may be in life.  

One of my favorite parts about Craig and Fred was the casual way in which it was told. It often felt like Craig was talking to me, telling me his story as if we were two old friends sitting at a restaurant together. This characteristic made it easy to read as well as compelling. I was often telling myself, "okay, one more chapter and then I'll go to bed," but that never seemed to happen. 

Additionally, I enjoyed the way in which it was both personal and informational. I learned a lot about Afghanistan while reading this book, and it was incredibly eye-opening to say the least. I valued  that Craig included the bad as well as the good that Afghanistan brought. It was heartwarming and hopeful to read about his positive interactions with the Afghan people as well as to see how far the Afghan citizens would go to maintain some sort of normalcy in their lives. I also liked that the book didn't just end once Craig come home and was reunited with Fred; instead, it continued on, showing the challenges both Craig and Fred faced while trying to regain normalcy themselves. 

Last but not least: the bond between Craig and Fred. It brought so many smiles and even a few tears. Seriously, I love, love, loved it! 

In all, Craig and Fred is well worth a read! 

The copy I read was the young reader's edition, and I feel like it would be the perfect gift for any youngster in your life who is interested in the military and/or lovable dogs. 

Grade: A+ 

Craig and Fred is now out! 

Source: Hardcover provided by publicist for review - thanks Laura! 

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  1. Oh gosh, I feel like this would be one that would make me cry. lol Thanks for sharing; I'm glad you ended up really loving it!


  2. I have the hardest time with books like this because I can totally see myself crying, animal stories are always so emotional

  3. I don't read non-fiction as much either because they're usually a miss for me, but from that blurb and your review, I'm pretty interested in this one. I love heartwarming stories and Craig & Fred warmed my heart just from your review. I like that you were able to get an understanding of the situation while still contacting to the two. Thanks for your awesome review. I'm adding to my TBR :)


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