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Akiak: A Tale from the Iditarod Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Blake, Robert J.

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ISBN: 0142401854     ISBN-13: 9780142401859
Publisher: Puffin
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: October 2004
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Annotation: When she hurts her paw on the fourth day of the race, Akiak can no longer compete in the Iditarodthe famed dogsledding race through 1,151 miles of Alaskan terrain. Her musher has no choice but to leave her behind. The rules say once a dog is dropped from the race, it may not rejoin the team. But ten-year-old lead dog Akiak doesnt know the rules, and nothing will stop her from catching up to her team. Akiak has never won the race before. Will she be able to help her team win this time?
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Sled dogs; Juvenile fiction.
Sled dogs; Fiction.
Dogs; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dogs
- Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: bl2006004490
Lexile Measure: 590
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 2-3, Age 7-8
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 10.50" H x 8.50" W x 0.25" (0.35 lbs) 40 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 27701
Reading Level: 3.3   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q13177
Reading Level: 2.9   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 2.0
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Robert J. Blake was born and raised in New Jersey. As a boy he made "tons of drawings" and used up thousands of crayons. He says, "I even did a huge crayon mural on our hallway that was not artistically appreciated by my parents."

Sharing one large room with two older brothers was "total chaos," he recalls. "We had lots of animals - dogs, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, snakes, birds, fish, and even two flying squirrels. And, oh yes, a tarantula. I think my parents were afraid to come up to our room."

Mr. Blake now resides in New Jersey with his wife and son. He works in his studio, a renovated barn on his property. Mr. Blake says, "I would like to paint in every state in the United States and in every country in the world."

"I hope my books lend the reader a feeling, and emotion, a new point of view, a new way to look at something that they might not have experienced otherwise."


Robert J. Blake was born and raised in New Jersey. As a boy he made "tons of drawings" and used up thousands of crayons. He says, "I even did a huge crayon mural on our hallway that was not artistically appreciated by my parents."

Sharing one large room with two older brothers was "total chaos," he recalls. "We had lots of animals - dogs, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, snakes, birds, fish, and even two flying squirrels. And, oh yes, a tarantula. I think my parents were afraid to come up to our room."

Mr. Blake now resides in New Jersey with his wife and son. He works in his studio, a renovated barn on his property. Mr. Blake says, "I would like to paint in every state in the United States and in every country in the world."

"I hope my books lend the reader a feeling, and emotion, a new point of view, a new way to look at something that they might not have experienced otherwise."



Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 1998)
Akiak, a ten-year-old sled dog, is making her final attempt at the Iditarod with her female musher, Mick. Injured and removed from the team, Akiak resists being sent home and races the trail alone, catching up with Mick and riding triumphantly across the finish line as a passenger in the sled. This naturalistic account of a dog's determination is enhanced by evocative oil paintings depicting the snowy Alaskan landscape. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2004 November #2)
This fictional tale chronicles the 10-day Iditarod run for a veteran lead dog running her final race. According to PW, "Narrative and artwork pull equal weight to give readers a memorable ride." Ages 5-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 1997 August #4)
In engrossing prose, this fictional tale chronicles the 10-day Iditarod run for 10-year-old Akiak, a veteran lead dog, who is running her final race. As the dog who knows the trail better than any other, she's run seven races but never come in first: "This was her last chance. Now, they must win now." On the fourth day, the husky is pulled from the race because of a sore paw, and Mick, her team's musher, decides to fly her home. But Akiak flees; she escapes checkpoint officials and heroically pursues her team, which is hours ahead. Her determination in the face of hunger, fatigue and blizzard conditions soon wins the support of mushers and spectators alike (one spread shows a family who has put out food for her watching from a lighted window). In smooth, journalistic style, Blake (Riptide) nimbly plaits Akiak's solitary quest with the team's struggle to win without her. The suspense mounts with Akiak's surprise reappearance, then peaks in sweet victory at the finish line. Blake's thickly brushed oil paintings depict the hardship of the journey, as snow takes on many faces: it's a docile white beard in a dog's fur, a disorienting force in a blinding storm and, in many a landscape spread, a vast expanse of cornflower blue and violet. Here, narrative and artwork pull equal weight to give readers a memorable ride. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1998 March)
Left behind because of an injury, a lead husky sets out on her own to find her team and win the race. An action-packed tale of daring, determination, and dedication. (Sept. 1997) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1997 December)
K-Gr 3 Left behind because of an injury, a lead husky sets out on her own to find her team and win the race. An action-packed tale of daring, determination, and dedication. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 1997 September)
Blake escorts readers over the 1151 miles of the actual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race course, following in the pawsteps of his fictional heroine, Akiak, an aging team leader running it for the last time. The arctic-toned oils and the endpaper maps give strong visual support to the text as readers share Akiak's frustration at being pulled from the event due to a sore paw and cheer her escape to follow her team. Alone, she trails them for five days, deflects them from a false trail, and rides triumphantly into Nome to the cheers of the crowd, proudly perched on the sled. The care and support facilities for the dogs should reassure anyone's concern over the animals' welfare in this grueling race, and the fine illustrations give a properly frigid impression of the vast distances and inhospitable landscape to be traversed. Team Akiak with Gary Paulsen's Dogteam (Delacorte, 1993) and Patricia Siebert's Mush! (Millbrook, 1992) and children will have a clear understanding of the passionate enthusiasm to pull bred into the heart of every dog who has ever run the Iditarod. Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews
 
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