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The Jr. Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

This program is limited to 12 participants. Adults are welcome to sit in.

Sherry Shahan

45 Minute Program



I lived with a family of dog mushers in Alaska while preparing for my nonfiction, photo-illustrated book Dashing Through the Snow: The Story of the Jr. Iditarod. Mushers between the ages of 14 and 17 compete in this demanding 150-mile race.

The annual event honors the 1925 serum run in which Eskimo children in Nome, Alaska were exposed to the deadly disease diphtheria. Twenty fearless mushers and their teams of hard-driving dogs transported the life-saving serum in relay style. Blizzard conditions sometimes pushed the wind-chill factor to -100 degrees Fahrenheit. The serum arrived frozen but usable.

This interactive session will pose questions to participants: What do mushers pack in their sleds? What do dogs eat on the trail? How fast do they run? Why are dogs required to wear sock-like booties on their paws? What happens if a dog gets sick or hurt?

Be prepared to ask your own questions about this challenging sport.

About the Author

Sherry Shahan has 40 children’s books to her credit—ranging from picture books, middle grade and young adult novels. Her books span fiction and photo-illustrated nonfiction.

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