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The Incredible Life of Balto

by Meghan McCarthy

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
32 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢠥75-844607

Ages 5-8

Meghan McCarthy offers a compelling expansion on the usual story of Balto, the sled dog leader of the team that completed the famed delivery of Diptherium serum to Nome in 1925. From an exhilarating description of the final leg of the serum run, McCarthy goes on to describe Balto抯 celebrity status after the event (he even starred in a movie!), and then his decline from fame into life as a side-show attraction. Eventually money was raised in a public effort in Cleveland to purchase Balto and his teammates from the sideshow owner. The dogs were donated to the Brookside Zoo, where 揃alto could relax and enjoy the rest of his life. A lengthy section in the afterword titled 揇etective Work is a fascinating account of the author抯 efforts to track down Balto抯 history and accurate physical description, separating rumor and error from fact. McCarthy抯 distinctive art style offers up an endearingly googly-eyed Balto, which seems fitting for a dog considered an unlikely choice for a hero.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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