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Children's LiteratureThe Iditarod Trail from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska was used for many years to deliver mail, freight, and even gold during the Alaskan gold rush. The first race in 1967 was only 9 miles long. For the last 30 years, mushers, as the racers are called, have faced harsh conditions along the trail, such as extreme cold and blizzards, to compete in the over 1,000-mile long trek. Although driven to win the race, racers have a commitment to help each other survive injury and illness during the race. Well-trained Alaskan huskies are the dogs of choice to pull the lightweight sleds. Hundreds of unpaid workers on the ground and nearly 30 pilots in the air help with the race by supplying food, medical treatment, and veterinarian care. There is a Junior Iditarod race that is 160 miles long. Several famous racers are highlighted in the book, including Susan Butcher, who was the first woman Iditarod winner. Joe Redington helped with the first race in 1967 and, although he never won the race, the last time he completed the race, he was 80 years old. Rick Swenson won the race five times. This book is part of the "High Five Reading" set. 2003, Capstone Press, Ages 10 up.
— Sally Niezgoda