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Last updated Monday, April 3, 2017

Author: Robert Blake
Date of Publication: 2002
ISBN: 0399233814
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2017

Synopsis: Togo wasn't meant to be a sled dog. He was too feisty and independent to make a good team member, let alone a leader. But Togo is determined, and when his trainer, Leonhard Seppala, gives him a chance, he soon becomes one of the fastest sled dogs in history! His skills are put to the ultimate test, though, when Seppala and his team are called on to make the now-famous run across the frozen Arctic to deliver the serum that will save Alaska from a life-threatening outbreak of diphtheria. Robert J. Blake's detailed, carefully researched oil paintings complete the story of the adventure that inspired the internationally famous Iditarod race.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What type of animal is Togo?
•  Where do you think Togo is?


•  parlor - a sitting room in a private house, similar to a living room.
•  haul freight - to transport goods by truck, train, ship, or aircraft.
•  bolted - to jerk or jump forward suddenly.
•  an acute, highly contagious bacterial disease causing inflammation of the mucous membranes, formation of a false membrane in the throat that hinders breathing and swallowing, and potentially fatal heart and nerve damage by a bacterial toxin in the blood. It is now rare in developed countries because of immunization.
•  serum - A serum is a liquid that is injected into someone's blood to protect them against a poison or disease.
•  the elements - harsh weather

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do you think Togo wanted to be a sled dog?
•  Why did the people in Alaska depend on sled dogs to take serum for the illness?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw or make a cut-out dog sled. Use thick white construction paper for the ground, then attach a few dogs (paper-doll style) with folded tabs at the feet. Add a sled with tabs at the bottom to fold up/down. Attach string or yarn. Draw snow-covered trees and mountains/glaciers.
•  Check our Animals in April craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!