by Robert J. Blake. (Puffin, 2004. ISBN 9780142401859. Order Info.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades 1-5.
Within these 32 pages you get striking and informative illustrations, an exciting story, and hooks to math, geography, science and history. The endpaper maps show us the Iditarod trail and some of the topography. The text gives us a day by day account of a woman, Mick, and her dog team but the star of the book is the lead dog, Akiak. At least, she starts out to be the lead dog. She's run this race before and always got her team into top places, but she's never won. At ten, this will be her last chance to win.
On day four, her paw is injured and Mick replaces Akiak and makes arrangements to fly her home. Akiak, however, has other ideas and she escapes her handlers and determines to catch up with her team. At the first two stations trail volunteers try to catch her but soon everybody is rooting for her to make it. This is a wonderful story. Share it with any kids from first grade up after you've told them a bit about the Iditarod.
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