Veterinarian Donates 167 Books So Students Can Join Long Beach Reads One Book

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Dr. Greg Perrault with students teachers and dogs.

Veterinarian superstar Dr. Greg Perrault has come to the rescue again. Better known for helping animals—most recently rescuing a Pit Bull named Blue from an owner who beat the dog— Perrault has this time rescued Long Beach students in need of books.

Perrault bought 167 copies of The Art of Racing in the Rain, a book about a dog, which the students will read as part of Long Beach Reads One Book 2013. In the book, a dog named Enzo narrates the poignant tale of a family involved in racing cars.

“When I heard that the students might not be able to read the book before meeting author Garth Stein, I just had to help,” he said. According to Wilson High School Librarian Lia Ladas, budget cuts in the school district meant there was no money for such “optional” books this year.

“The books will be read by students in three high schools and one middle school,” said Ladas. She praised the book for its universal appeal. “With a loveable and wise dog narrator and a young race driver as protagonist, this book will be a real hit with our students! The books have arrived just in time for the students to read them, and when the author comes on March 19, they will all be wanting his autograph.”

“Author Stein will appear for the public at the Carpenter Center for Performing Arts on March 19, as the marquee event for Long Beach Reads One Book 2013,” said Chair Susan Redfield. Multiple events are planned for March 12-19, which has been declared “Book Week” by overall sponsor Long Beach Public Library Foundation. “This book has been on the bestseller list longer than any other we’ve chosen in our 12-year history. Due to the popularity of dogs and racing in Long Beach, we’re expecting a standing-room-only crowd.”

In addition to the author’s appearance, events throughout the city will include a major family-friendly dog celebration at El Dorado Park, an expert panel on the human-animal bond, a racing history of the City, a multi-prize geocaching challenge, library programs, and more. Details will be posted as they are confirmed at, and on Facebook at Long Beach Reads One Book.

Currently the Foundation is seeking a Long Beach Enzo to be the “face” of Book Week.

The Library Foundation gratefully acknowledges numerous sponsors of this annual literary festival (one of the longest continuous books weeks in the country) including Richard Neri and Kurt Schulzman; Michael Ozaki, M.D.; Signal Hill Petroleum; Greg Perrault, DVM; Diane Jacobus; Jim Hankla; John W. Hancock Family Foundation; Naomi Rainey; Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, Fourth District; and Mary Taylor.

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