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The Incredible Life of Balto

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  201 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
Most people know the story of Balto, the world famous dog who led his dogsled team through a blizzard to deliver a lifesaving serum to the stricken people of Nome, Alaska, in 1925. Balto shot to instant stardom—a company named dog food after him, a famous sculptor erected a statue of him that stands in Central Park to this day, and the dog even starred in his own Hollywood ...more
ebook, 40 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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I'm a big fan of Meghan McCarthy. Her books are engaging, entertaining and informative. And, even if her illustration style isn't my personal favorite, I have to say that those big-eyed characters she creates are getting more winsome with each book I read. In this book, McCarthy tells the story of Balto, the famous sled dog that helped bring much-needed serum from a town near Anchorage to Nome, Alaska where a diphtheria epidemic threatened many lives in 1925.

This is a story of courage, and ther
3.5 stars--We all know the story of Balto the sled dog and his successful delivery of medicine to the stricken populace of Nome, Alaska. Balto has been the subject of countless children’s books and movies; however the story usually ends at the finish line.

The Incredible Life of Balto is the first book I’ve encountered that tells the complex story of what happened to Balto after the delivery of the serum. (And the book does touch on the fact that Balto was lucky; some sled dogs perished on the tr
Any dog or man willing to risk life and limb to trek through snow and ice to bring medicine to the town of Nome Alaska that has fallen to a case of diphtheria, deserves praise and honor of all sorts! That's what this book is about, specifically the lead dog Balto of all (or part) of just such an expedition that occurred in 1925.

But, this book is more about the "what happened after" than the actual event. We learn about Balto's rise to fame, his fall from it, and what happens thereafter.

I appreci
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-biography
Well written, but I didn't think that the artwork style worked with this story. It is a "what happened next" book about Balto, the famous sled dog who was celebrated for helping to deliver serum to Nome, Alaska in the 1920s. Of the many dogs and men who made that run possible, Balto was the visible face, with a statue and a silent movie celebrating his heroic efforts in helping stop a diptheria epidemic.
After his celebrity waned, he and the other dogs were sold off for stage and sideshow work, u
The Library Lady
Sometimes a talented illustrator is not the best illustrator for her/his own book and this is the case here. The story of Balto goes beyond the Iditarod inspiring run to Nome with the vaccine--what happened next is just as or perhaps even more fascinating. And McCarthy tells that story well. But her own illustrations, cartoonish and full of pop eyed dogs, don't do Balto justice. The cover looks more like an image from a Nicktoon show than the story of a beautiful, brave dog. Disappointing.
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not a dog person. Like ‘em fine. Don’t see much particular need to interact with them on a regular basis. Sometimes, though, I'll feel like my life as a children’s librarian would have been easier if I had been a canine fanatic. A large swath of children’s literature each year is dedicated to man’s best friend. This year alone I’ve seen dogs traveling vast distances to be reunited with their loved ones (A Dog’s Way Home), convince kids that they are transformed accountants (The Ogre of Oglef ...more
Brendan White
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unused
The Incredible Life of BALTO by Meghan McCarthy is a nonfiction book for children ages 3-8. This book is a winner of the Young Readers' Choice Award. The true story centers on a dog named Balto who, in 1925, saved people in Alaska who were sick with diphtheria. During a blizzard, Balto led his dogsled team to deliver lifesaving medicine to the ill. When the country heard about Balto and his heroic efforts, he became a celebrity. Sadly, Balto and his team of dogs were exploited and mistreated. Fo ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-classics
As I was already aware of the story about Balto and the dog sled teams that rushed the serum to Nome, what I found interesting is the manner in which Meghan McCarthey gathered her facts for the book.
Richie Partington
4 June 2011 THE INCREDIBLE LIFE OF BALTO by Meghan McCarthy, Knopf, August 2011, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-375-84460-7

THE INCREDIBLE LIFE OF BALTO is the picturebook true story of a sled dog from Alaska who became amazingly famous; was soon thereafter forgotten and neglected; and was later rediscovered and saved from further neglect and mistreatment thanks to a public fundraising campaign.

Balto was the lead dog on a dogsled team that was instrumental in saving lives in 1925, when a shipment of medicine
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really did enjoy this book, and I especially like the illustrations. I like the story of Balto, too. However, I was just reading through it and there was one line in particular that caught me off guard:

"It was fifty below zero when the journey began. Some dogs died on the way because their lungs burst from the cold."

To be honest with you, I didn't really want to read that. I know this is the *true* story of Balto, but the book is geared towards children. I would have preferred to have seen a
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Children's book author of many wonderful fiction and nonfiction books for young readers, including the below following. Meghan's books have won the IRA-CBC Children's Choice, ALA Notable, Kirkus Reviews Reviewer's Choice, Booklist Best Books, NYPL 100 Best Books, SLJ Best Books, and so on. Blah blah blah, what Meghan really wants to do is drive really fast and jump in really long grass until she g ...more
More about Meghan Mccarthy...