When the 1925 diphtheria epidemic hits snowbound Nome, Alaska, ""Dr. Welch felt that they were sitting on a time bomb--and that it was getting ready to explode any minute."" All is not lost, however, bemuse the life-saving serum has to come overland from Anchorage by rail and dogsled relay which gives Balto his big chance to make it as lead dog. (Hitherto just one of the pack, the husky ""sensed that something important was going on"" and rose to the occasion.) Nome is saved and Balto's statue ends up in New York's Central Park. . . but the pumped up prose will excite only trail-hardened adventure hounds who rise to the cry of mush.