Iditarod Dream: Dusty and His Sled Dogs Compete in Alaska's Jr. Iditarod

Ted Wood, Author Walker & Company $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8027-8406-3
Gary Paulsen fans might like to imagine themselves as this photo-essay's hero: 15-year-old Dusty Whittemore, winner of the 1995 Jr. Iditarod. Open to mushers between the ages of 14 and 17, the two-day race follows a 158-mile leg of the grueling, 1200-mile Iditarod course between Anchorage and Nome. Wood (A Boy Becomes a Man at Wounded Knee) follows Dusty from his log cabin home (shared with parents and their 17 sled dogs) to his school (he is the only boy in the six-student high school in his tiny Alaskan town), then watches him enter and run the race with his 10 trusty dogs. Large color photographs capture workaday paraphernalia: the sled, travel crates, lines, lists and maps, giant boots and puffy jackets, etc. Shots of the race and of the dogs give a sense of the physical obstacles, especially the endless snow and ice, and convey Dusty's rapport with the dogs, but few are crisp or intimate enough to suggest the thrill of it all. Rolling at a uniform pace, the evenly modulated prose muffles the excitement of winning under informative details. Even so, Dusty's stamina, courage and sportsmanship will shine through to young readers in the lower 48. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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