Akiak by Robert J. Blake
A Tale from the Iditarod

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Synopsis

It is Iditarod day. Fifty-six dog teams will race through 1,151 miles of rugged Alaskan terrain from Anchorage to Nome. Akiak knows these miles well. As lead dog, she has raced the incredible trail before, but never won. She is ten years old: if she is going to win, it must be now.

When snow hurts her paw on the fourth day out, Mick, her musher, must leave her behind and continue the race without her. The rules say once a dog is dropped from the race, it may not rejoin the team. But Akiak doesn't know about rules. She is a lead dog, and her place is with the team. Nothing, not blizzards, not breaking ice, not the people out to catch her, will stop Akiak from catching up to her team. The question is, can the team still win?

Robert J. Blake's majestic snowscapes will lead you through this unforgettable tale of a dog with a hero's heart, a dog who will not give up. Akiak will leave you cheering.
 

About Robert J. Blake

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Robert J. Blake was born and raised in New Jersey. As a boy he made "tons of drawings" and used up thousands of crayons. He says, "I even did a huge crayon mural on our hallway that was not artistically appreciated by my parents." Sharing one large room with two older brothers was "total chaos," he recalls. "We had lots of animals - dogs, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, snakes, birds, fish, and even two flying squirrels. And, oh yes, a tarantula. I think my parents were afraid to come up to our room." Mr. Blake now resides in New Jersey with his wife and son. He works in his studio, a renovated barn on his property. Mr. Blake says, "I would like to paint in every state in the United States and in every country in the world." "I hope my books lend the reader a feeling, and emotion, a new point of view, a new way to look at something that they might not have experienced otherwise." Robert J. Blake was born and raised in New Jersey. As a boy he made "tons of drawings" and used up thousands of crayons. He says, "I even did a huge crayon mural on our hallway that was not artistically appreciated by my parents." Sharing one large room with two older brothers was "total chaos," he recalls. "We had lots of animals - dogs, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, snakes, birds, fish, and even two flying squirrels. And, oh yes, a tarantula. I think my parents were afraid to come up to our room." Mr. Blake now resides in New Jersey with his wife and son. He works in his studio, a renovated barn on his property. Mr. Blake says, "I would like to paint in every state in the United States and in every country in the world." "I hope my books lend the reader a feeling, and emotion, a new point of view, a new way to look at something that they might not have experienced otherwise."
 
Published September 22, 1997 by Philomel. 32 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Akiak

Kirkus Reviews

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From Jack London's Call of the Wild to Gary Paulsen's many tales, the relationship between humans and dogs as they face the harsh northern climes has captivated readers.

Sep 22 1997 | Read Full Review of Akiak : A Tale from the Iditarod

Kirkus Reviews

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Blake's naturalistic icy blue paintings chronicle Akiak's independent race across lone landscapes, burrowing in snowdrifts for shelter and escaping well-meaning trail volunteers.

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Publishers Weekly

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In engrossing prose, this fictional tale chronicles the 10-day Iditarod run for 10-year-old Akiak, a veteran lead dog, who is running her final race.

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