THE GREAT SERUM RACE by Debbie S. Miller

THE GREAT SERUM RACE

Blazing the Iditarod Trail
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Make way for more sled dogs. In the second work this fall to focus on the origins of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race—the first was Blake’s Togo (p. 1216)—the reader learns about the historic 1925 rescue mission by sled-dog teams and their brave owners, bringing antitoxin serum to Nome, Alaska, to fight a diphtheria outbreak. Miller (Are Trees Alive?, p. 419, etc.) does a thorough job of explaining the different dog teams and owners and how many people and dogs played a part in the rescue despite difficult conditions. Van Zyle’s (Gone Again, Ptarmigan, 2001, etc.) polished paintings of sled dogs in action complement the longer story well. The official painter of the Iditarod Race effectively captures the Alaska landscape, especially in sweeping vistas of snow, sky, and northern lights. The back matter includes a list of the “mushers” (dog handlers), further information about the dogs, a summary of the Iditarod Race, and a bibliography. Simple maps on the endpapers show the route of the rescue mission and the position of the route across the state of Alaska. This volume offers a more complete history of the serum race and all the heroic players within a more general context, while the recent Togo focuses on that particular dog and his contribution, providing more emotional engagement but less overall understanding of the event and its modern commemoration in the Iditarod. (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8027-8811-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2002




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