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Togo

by Robert Blake

Published by Philomel, 2002
40 pages
ISBN: 0-399-23381-4

Ages 6 - 10

The stunning and dramatic cover of Togo features the life-size face of a Siberian Husky, its eyes peering intently out from a snow-covered face. Open the book and the drama never ceases as Robert J. Blake recounts the story of Togo, the unsung hero who helped save the population of Nome, Alaska, during the diphtheria outbreak of 1925. It was the middle of winter, and only sled dogs could traverse the final 300 miles of terrain between Anchorage and Nome. Their cargo was life-saving serum. Togo's handler, Leonhard Seppala, already had discovered Togo was an extraordinary sled dog who had led Seppala to many racing victories. On the serum run, Togo led Seppala and his team across the icy Alaskan terrain in the midst of a winter storm, in temperatures that were as cold as 40 below zero. They not only ran their leg of the journey, but continued on when other teams could not. When they finally were able to pass the serum on to the final handler and team, Togo was spent. He never raced again. That final team was led by Balto, a sled dog hailed as a hero for bringing the serum into Nome. Balto and his team had run 53 miles. But Togo had run a phenomenal 350 mile journey and, here, is given the credit he is due. CCBC Categories: Historical People, Places, and Events.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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