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 Post subject: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:38 pm 
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Hey there, you guys!

I'm not sure if anyone else has seen this, but I was at my local Barnes and Noble the other day and I just happened to see this book:

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Yeah, so there's a new book on the serum run in bookstores... this time, it's not only for kids, but also is more centered on Togo, the forgotten canine hero in Balto's shadow. I actually bought it - it's not that expensive, only about $6.99 - and though I haven't read it yet, the information and pictures in the back are quite interesting. It talks about the origins of the Siberian Husky breed, the dogs [mainly Togo, but there's some Balto info too], the origins of the famous Iditarod dog-sledding race, and about owning a husky, so it's useful info for those fanfiction writers and dog lovers alike. Apparently, this children's book series, "Dog Diaries", is focused on the stories of real-life canines that have done incredible things, so I'm glad they chose to focus on Togo instead of Balto.

The book is told in Togo's point of view, and it's not bad from what I've read of it. I'm not sure on the historical accuracy of it, but at least it mentions Togo's team [including Fritz] and Balto [finally proving that he is not a wolf-dog like in the movie - you'd be surprised how many kids think that he's the same as his animated movie counterpart], and Seppala himself. It's pretty good so far, but written so that children can learn about how these dogs helped to stop a complete tragedy from occurring.

Here's the summary from the back [and the overview from BN.com]:
Quote:
Small, feisty Siberian husky Togo—the overlooked sled-dog hero of the 1925 serum run to Nome—sets the record straight in Dog Diaries #4! When a diptheria epidemic breaks out in isolated Nome, Alaska, in January 1925, the only way to get life-saving serum to the town is by using dog-sled relay teams. Twenty teams participate, and the dog who inevitably gets credit for saving the town is Balto, lead dog on the final team which delivered the serum. But few people have ever heard of 12-year-old Togo and his musher Leonard Seppala, who carried the serum for almost double the length of any other team, and twice violated warnings to avoid perilous Norton Sound and instead ran straight over the frozen ice! With realistic black-and-white illustrations by Tim Jessell—plus an appendix with information about Siberian huskies, sled dogs, mushers, and more—Togo's tale is perfect for middle-grade readers who love a spunky underdog!


Here's a quick review of the book from Kirkus Reviews:
Quote:
Affable sled dog Togo leads readers through his puppyhood, his racing career and "The Balto Business." Balto the sled dog became a household name after the Serum Run of 1925, in which medicine for a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska, was transported via dog sled. According to musher Leonhard Seppala, however, the true hero was Togo, who led Seppala's team much farther than Balto had done. Here, Togo narrates his life story in an accessible voice full of warmth and folksy idioms. In addition to Togo's time as a "furry-faced little brat" of a puppy, readers see him learn to lead a sled-dog team, race along the Sweepstakes Trail, deliver the famous serum and finally reach old age. Togo's point of view is believably doglike. He is touchingly loyal to Seppala, motivated to work hard and win races by his desire to please his musher. The dogs' communication with one another and with people is represented by italicized dialogue, but it is made reasonably clear that the "talking" happens in the language of barks and nips and howls. A substantial appendix gives information about Siberian huskies, the Iditarod and the historical facts behind Togo's tale. An informative historical narrative with heart. (appendix.) (Historical fiction. 8-12)


I'll hope to have a bit of a review of the book once I'm done reading it, but if you're curious about it, there's a short snippet available to read [click the book image on this post]. The sample's not that long, but it does have an illustration [which I like - it's black & white but realistically sketched] and a bit of dialogue from the first chapter.

What do you guys and gals think about this latest book, and have you actually seen/read it? Let's talk about this!

- Juuchan17

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:58 am 
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It's good to see a more historically accurate account presented to kids. I nearly flew off the handle when my brother thought Balto was actually a hybrid.

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:35 pm 
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xArcticGx wrote:
It's good to see a more historically accurate account presented to kids. I nearly flew off the handle when my brother thought Balto was actually a hybrid.


I agree. I'll admit I've read a couple of books that either follow the truth that Balto was a husky or follow the animated films, calling him a wolfdog. I own one of them, in which it talks about real-life dogs that saved lives... so it bothered me when it called Balto a half-dog, half-wolf in the pages. I'm sure that sort of thing would gripe many a true Balto fan when they hear someone call the real Balto a wolfdog! [It's like calling "Balto" a Disney movie - it gives similar reactions.]

As for the Togo book, so far, it's a much better underdog story than the animated Balto movie was. Sure, Togo's thoughts may not be completely accurate, but I like that the story is told from his eyes, especially when it actually gets to his backstory. It really is something good that makes you root for him from the get-go. So far, I'm recommending it as a decent read.

- Juuchan17

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:42 pm 
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Dang that cover alone makes me want it. I was always interested in Togo's story, so this is long overdue as far as being in my library.

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:36 am 
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Roiffalo wrote:
Dang that cover alone makes me want it. I was always interested in Togo's story, so this is long overdue as far as being in my library.

Well. it just came out recently [probably a month ago? I'm not sure on exact release dates with children's chapter books.]. There are some nice reference photographs of Togo and his real team [and of course, Seppala too] in the back, so that should be worth putting on your book shelf!

And I agree - the cover is gorgeous and well designed. I think it actually beats out any Balto book cover I've ever seen honestly.

- Juuchan17

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:06 pm 
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Well thanks for all the info, Juuchan! I'll certainly be keeping my eyes out for a copy to get next time I'm browsing the stores. 8]

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Finally Togo gets some credit. I think their should have a Togo statue as well,. It's not really Balto's fault that Togo got so overlooked. I'm not certain why he did.

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:28 pm 
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I'm at my local B&N all the time. I'll have to keep a look out for it. What section is it in?

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:03 am 
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Riley wrote:
I'm at my local B&N all the time. I'll have to keep a look out for it. What section is it in?

I found it in the Children's section of the bookstore, along with the larger chapter books. Again, it's not that expensive and the writing's quite good, though the characterization of Togo and Seppala may not be historically accurate. It's still quite enjoyable so far.

AppaloosaPalooza wrote:
Finally Togo gets some credit. I think their should have a Togo statue as well,. It's not really Balto's fault that Togo got so overlooked. I'm not certain why he did.

Agreed on the credit thing. As for the statue, I wish both dogs just shared the spotlight in the end, but I suppose only one was destined to capture the hearts of a nation while the other remained lesser-known and left out of most of the popularity. I guess the only real reason Balto got the fame was due to being the lead of the last team that actually arrived at Nome, though give the Balto statue credit for being dedicated to ALL of the sled dogs that were a part of the Serum Run, not just the last leader.

But meh, this is normal in history and in life.

- Juuchan17

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:14 pm 
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Juuchan17 wrote:
I guess the only real reason Balto got the fame was due to being the lead of the last team that actually arrived at Nome, though give the Balto statue credit for being dedicated to ALL of the sled dogs that were a part of the Serum Run, not just the last leader.

But meh, this is normal in history and in life.

- Juuchan17


When I think about it, I think there's more that goes into his claim to fame than just being the lucky last dog. Before the serum run, Balto hadn't had any racing experience--much less lead dog experience--and was never viewed as being worth much. The weather conditions during the storm were so severe that Kaasen claimed he couldn't even see his hand in front of his face, so he obviously wasn't able to drive the team back to Nome with the medicine. Balto had to take the responsibility of following the trail back home. I think it's a great example of proving yourself, and not letting anyone tell you that you're not good enough. Could another dog have lead the team through the final leg of the race? Probably. But I think the lesson that he teaches us is a big contributor to his recognition. Some food for thought :)

And yes, I absolutely agree that EVERY dog and musher who took part in the relay are heroes. They sacrificed their health and even their lives to save the children. That could never go unnoticed.

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:54 am 
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Riley wrote:
Juuchan17 wrote:
I guess the only real reason Balto got the fame was due to being the lead of the last team that actually arrived at Nome, though give the Balto statue credit for being dedicated to ALL of the sled dogs that were a part of the Serum Run, not just the last leader.

But meh, this is normal in history and in life.

- Juuchan17


When I think about it, I think there's more that goes into his claim to fame than just being the lucky last dog. Before the serum run, Balto hadn't had any racing experience--much less lead dog experience--and was never viewed as being worth much. The weather conditions during the storm were so severe that Kaasen claimed he couldn't even see his hand in front of his face, so he obviously wasn't able to drive the team back to Nome with the medicine. Balto had to take the responsibility of following the trail back home. I think it's a great example of proving yourself, and not letting anyone tell you that you're not good enough. Could another dog have lead the team through the final leg of the race? Probably. But I think the lesson that he teaches us is a big contributor to his recognition. Some food for thought :)

And yes, I absolutely agree that EVERY dog and musher who took part in the relay are heroes. They sacrificed their health and even their lives to save the children. That could never go unnoticed.


Balto was actually one of 2 lead dogs on the final run. On the last stretch Gunnar had paired him up with "Fox" but when a reporter asked who the lead dogs were, Gunnar actually told him Fox. The reporter felt that the American public would be confused by a fox leading the team and asked who the other one was. Gunnar replied "Balto" and thus the legend began.

I think people also forget the actual inscription on the statue, although it is Balto and everyone knows that, the actual wording is "Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dog that relayed medicine [...] to relief of stricken Nome". That isn't naming Balto but dedicating it to all involved. Balto was just the "face" of the relay and let's face it, he didn't really have much of a choice about that. I wouldn't say that any dog shouldn't have had such fame and gratitude, granted that Togo and indeed the OTHER dogs on his team should have perhaps had more recognition but all the dogs were heroes and should be remembered.

The exact same goes for all the native mushers who never received *any* recognition because they weren't white.

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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 9:54 am 
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ooo this is cool, I will read


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 Post subject: Re: New Serum Run book for kids - focused on Togo!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 7:05 am 
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This is such a great cartoon! I watch it periodically since childhood and now. I will definitely buy this book, it will be interesting to learn a little more about Togo. I myself often practise writing books and sometimes use https://gradesfixer.com/conclusion-generator/ when I have an urgent need to avoid mistakes. With this free online conclusion generator, I can make my story better and more interesting, as well as write a bright and colourful ending. Most importantly, avoid plagiarism in your text. Nobody really appreciates this.


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