Welcome to Iditarod Race Day and 1, 151 miles leading from Anchorage to Nome and challenging even the best of dogs. Akiak is ten years old and though she has led her teams seven times and brought in fifth, third and second places, she has never won. This is her last chance and she can't wait to begin.
This is the story of this heroic dog who day after day leads her team in tandom with her musher, a woman named Mick, finding the best and safest pathways through ice and snow and cold and confusion. This team is strong and on Day Three they pass one of their biggest competitors who laughs and shouts that Akiak is too old to make the trip. Mick shouts back that they'll see him in Nome. But on Day Four Akiak's paw is sore and she is limping.
Mick makes the decision to leave Akiak there to be flown home and she selects a new lead dog and pushes on. Akiak knows this is her last chance and she decides to follow the team on her own. Along the trail ahead, volunteers hear that she is "lost" and they wait to catch her at each checkpoint. Without food Akiak finds her way for two days and then exhausted she makes her way into Shaktoolik. Now the support of the mushers along the trail begins to swell with respect for this old dog's heart and determination. Just get the tissue box out now.
Ages 5-10 40 pages 978-0142401859
Read alikes: Togo by Robert J. Blake, Balto and the Great Race by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel, Dogteam by Gary Paulsen
Recommended by: Barb