Dog lovers and history buffs will delight in this collection celebrating the beloved canines that offered companionship, protection, and hard work to their masters in the Far North.
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Jane G. Haigh began her career as a local historian in Fairbanks, Alaska, which she continues to call home. She is the author of a number of books of popular Alaskan history, including Gold Rush Women, Gold Rush Dogs, and King Con: The Story of Soapy Smith.
Claire Rudolf Murphy is the author of two previous novels and several books of nonfiction. She was inspired to write Free Radical while contemplating her own feelings about the Vietnam War and how teenagers view it today. After spending many years in Alaska, Claire and her family now live in Spokane, Washington. This is her first book for Clarion.
Gr 7 Up-This book offers a different perspective on the Alaska-Yukon gold-rush era by focusing on the dogs that played such a huge role in it. Each chapter presents the story of a particular dog. Readers may be familiar with some of them, such as Balto, a Norwegian reindeer dog that is famous for helping deliver diphtheria serum to Nome in 1925. However, there are many lesser-known and equally fascinating stories told here, such as that of Nero, a Saint Bernard that was the beloved pet and protector of the richest woman in the Klondike, and Patsy Ann, a bull terrier that made it her business to greet every boat that docked at Juneau. The chapters also feature insets with other information such as discussions of breed histories and brief biographies of some of the people who worked with the animals. Lots of fine-quality, black-and-white archival photos add greatly to the book's appeal. Action-filled stories; fascinating characters, both human and canine; and great photos should make this companion to the authors' Gold Rush Women (Alaska Northwest, 1997) and Children of the Gold Rush (Roberts Rinehart, 2001) a winner with both animal lovers and history buffs. Teachers might also find this useful as a way to add some fun to their American history units.
Arwen Marshall, formerly at New York Public Library
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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