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Balto and the Great Race (Totally True Adventures) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) by [Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody]
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Balto and the Great Race (Totally True Adventures) (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Length: 112 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5-Kimmel presents the legendary story of the part-husky/part-wolf sled dog that braved severe blizzard conditions to take antitoxin serum to a remote Alaskan village in 1925. When the town was stricken by a diphtheria epidemic, Balto overcame unbelievable obstacles to accomplish what other dogs could not. This heroic canine has been immortalized in statue, film, and now in a book that brings his story to life. Kimmel's writing deftly combines geography, sled racing, and historical background with the gripping adventure of Balto's race to save lives. In many ways, the book reads like fast-paced fiction. Koerber's service- able black-and-white illustrations appear throughout and reflect the action. Sure to appeal to beginning chapter-book readers.
Christy Norris Blanchette, Valley Cottage Library, NY
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

paper 0-679-89198-6 This Stepping Stone entry takes on the story of Balto, which, in its facts, is thrilling: a Siberian husky becomes lead dog on his team and tracks through a raging blizzard to bring desperately needed antitoxin serum to Nome in 1925. Kimmel (Ice Story, p. 66, etc.) explains how dangerous diphtheria was at the time, how isolated Nome was, and how severe the weather condition, but the telling is often mired in awkward metaphors and repetition. Emily Morgan, the nurse who worked beside Dr. Curtis Welch in Nome, isn't mentioned until halfway through the book. Anthropomorphic analysis of Balto's ``feelings'' and ``thoughts'' are included, detracting from the tale for all but the most fanatical of dog-lovers. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Nonfiction, ages 8-11) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5716 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (August 31, 2009)
  • Publication Date: September 2, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002NEOK4S
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,999 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book if you are interested in the Iditarod race in Alaska.The book helps young children understand the importance of perserverence and is a great introduction to history for the very young (6-8).A true story that inspires people to understand the bond between animals and people.
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Format: Paperback
We purchased this book after seeing the real Balto (courtesy of the art of taxidermy) at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Our quest in Northeast Ohio, where Balto enjoyed his senior years, was prompted by my seven year-old daughter's love-affair with the animated film about this dog, who navigated a lost sled team carrying life-saving medicine through Alaska in 1925. I hereby confess publicly that, after myself reading the book, which is aimed at the 9 year-old set, I cried, much as I had done 35 years before after reading "Lassie Come Home." This account, however, is much more compelling than "Lassie" or "Old Yeller," because it entirely factual (possibly excepting the subjective thoughts imputed to the protagonist).
The author did her homework researching this story about a sled dog who was just one of the pack facing poor odds against daunting weather and unrequiting expanses of blinding snow and ice. When the alpha dog loses the trail, and another refuses to lead, the team turns to Balto to bring them and their cargo safely to rest in Nome.
Perhaps Balto deserves an authentic, grown-up biography, but this one will serve in the meantime. It appears to be the definitive account.
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Format: Paperback
If you love the Iditarod and you want your children (or children you're fond of) to be introduced to this great race, the story of Balto and the Great Race by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is a good place to start, beginning with the cover illustration by Nora Köerber. This book is a Stepping Stones chapter book with black and white illustrations throughout.

At the beginning of the book is a map of Alaska showing the Iditarod railroad and dogsled trail, along with some illustrations depicting the basic story of this great race against time to get much-needed diphtheria serum to Nome in 1925.

Balto is a Siberian husky born to run, and to lead. He guided his musher, Gunnar Kaasen, into Nome on the final leg of the journey, when only this magnificent dog could sense the way through a terrible, deadly blizzard with no trail to follow and wind at such strength it tossed Kaasen and dogsled into the air, almost losing their precious cargo. A short time before this near disaster, Balto saved the team from going through the ice to certain death. His instincts were in the realm of the supernatural and his devotion to the task at hand human in awareness.

It states on the back cover that this book is for children in grades 1-3. As the Cleveland Museum of Natural History states on the same back cover, "Balto's story is one of courage, cooperation and inspiration, and personal sacrifice for the greater good."

Carolyn Rowe Hill
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A Kid's Review on April 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Just so you'd know, this book is not denouncing Togo. It is merely telling Balto's side of the story. And it is a courageous one taht deserves to be well-known. There.

One day, a serious diptheria epidemic breaks out in Nome. Sled dogs are selected to deliver serum to the town before time runs out. Will they succeed?

This compelling book tells the story of Balto's brave and graet contribution to this race (he never tried to claim all the credit!), and I would recommend it even to Leonhard Seppala, so he would stop despising Balto, but sadly, he is now dead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a really interesting book. I am currently reading it with a group of my fourth graders. The vocabulary is difficult for them, but it is well-written. It is an exciting read. The chapters are short, which is good for my squirrelly readers. Teachers would benefit from checking out "Teachers Pay Teachers" for some of the units our fellow colleagues have put together to coincide with the reading of this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was read by a third grade reading group.
It was a good introduction to the Ididarod sled race held annually in Alaska.
However, after doing more research and reading, the Balto story is more of a folk tale.....since other
dogs also played a part in the historical race to deliver diphtheria serum so many years ago.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I take my Therapy dog "Brandy" to Puppy Pals at a local school. Kindergarten through 2nd or 3rd grade children read to all our dogs one on one. This encourages them to read more.

Purchased "Balto and the Great Race" several years ago to read to a 2nd grade class with our dog "Brandy" on Dr. Seuss Birthday & all the children loved it.. Then I read the same book to our 6 yr old Granddaughter, who also loved it. She took it home with her when we last saw her..
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Format: Paperback
What would it take to ride behind 16 dogs, 30 degrees below zero, for about 1,180 miles? Leonhard Seppala and many other mushers and dog teams traveled many miles to get the serum medicine to the city of Nome before too many people get sick and die! Elizabeth Cody Kimmel wrote this amazing book, with 112 pages, called Balto and the Great Race. Will the mushers make it in time before too many people get sick? Keep reading my review and you will find out!
Balto is a dog that is part husky and part wolf. He was part of a dog sled team that traveled through heavy blizzards to get medicine to people in Nome, Alaska who were badly sick. After the lead dog sat down in the blizzard and the dogs lost the trail, Balto took over as lead dog. Balto was able to overcome sudden obstacles by himself, even when Leonhard Seppala, the sled dog musher, could not give commands through the windy and heavy weather. He needed a good dog up front! Balto's sense of trail allowed him to lead the team safely!
My favorite part of the book is when Balto and Leonhard get stuck in a blizzard and the lead dog sat down because of the terrible weather. The storm was so strong the lead dog didn't know where to go. Leonhard decided to put Balto up front. Balto burst out into the blizzard before a blink of an eye! Even though they were facing the blizzard, Balto chose to be a trooper and power through the storm, no matter what conditions they were in! I like this because Balto was able to overcome a difficult situation and be a leader when his team needed him most of all.
The most important thing I learned from this book is probably how important team work is. In this story the musher had to pay attention to the dogs no matter what. If he didn't, he wouldn't know if they were tired, hungry or thirsty.
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