Balto of the Blue Dawn

Last updated Friday, June 1, 2018

Author: Mary Pope Osbo
Illustrator: Sal Murdocca
Date of Publication: 2016
ISBN: 0553510851
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jun. 2018

Synopsis: The #1 bestselling chapter book series of all time celebrates 25 years with new covers and a new, easy-to-use numbering system! The magic tree house has returned and it’s taking Jack and Annie back in time to Alaska, 1925. There they meet Balto, a jet-black Siberian husky destined to save victims of the diphtheria epidemic. But the trail isn’t easy, and Balto is going to need Jack and Annie’s help!

Note to readers:
•  This story is based on a real epidemic in Alaska and the real dog Balto.
•  You might want to read to about page 55, then skip to page 96.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Where is Alaska? (see if you can find it on a globe if there is one in the classroom)
•  What kind of jobs do dogs do today? (Service dogs, police. etc).


•  Musher - the driver of a dogsled.
•  Diphtheria - a frequently fatal contagious disease
•  Epidemic - a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Would you want to visit Alaska someday? Has anyone been to Alaska?
•  What kind of dog is Balto?
•  How do you think the story ends?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a father's day card for a father figure or family friend.
•  Make a dog sled using craft sticks.
•  Check our 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!