Elementary Nonfiction Books

Elementary Nonfiction Books



Author (Copyright Date):


The Adventures of Balto

Patricia Chargot (2006)

Chargot allows the reader to gain a richer understanding about Balto and the role he played in the 1925 Serum Run.
Ages 9-11

Born to Pull Bob Carey (1999)

With illustrations by Gail de Marcken, author Carey introduces dog mushing and life on the trail, emphasizing the bond between musher and dog.
Ages 8-13
Crimp!  On-By!!  The True Story of a Most Unlikely Iditarod Lead Dog
Liz Parrish and Jan Kelley (2009)

Crimp overcame obstacles to become a lead dog on Liz’s 2008 Iditarod Team.  Important  facts about the race, mushing, and dogs are included in the book.  
Dogs of the Iditarod
Jeff Schultz (2003)

A well-written and beautifully illustrated overview of the Iditarod, showcasing the amazing dogs that make it possible.
Grades 3 – 6
Eye on the Iditarod: Aisling’s Quest    

Hope Irvin Marston (2011)

Follow eleven-year-old Aisling as she conquers obstacles, deals with heartbreak and loss, and achieves great victories–all while keeping her eye on the Iditarod. Based on a true story of a young girl, Aisling Shepherd, her first 5 years of mushing, and  her dream of racing in Iditarod.  

Ages: 8-10

Book Study

The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail
Debbie S. Miller (2002)

A picture book for older children, this well-researched account of the 1925 serum run to Nome includes illustrations by Jon Van Zyle, Iditarod musher and official Iditarod artist.

Grades 2 – 6

Lexile AD910 (Adult Directed)

Fountas & Pinnell: T

Helen Thayer’s Arctic Adventure: A Woman and a Dog Walk to the North Pole Sally Isaacs (2016)

The story of Helen Thayer’s 1988 solo trek to the North Pole.

Grades 4-5

Lexile 580

Fountas & Pinnell: P

I, Matthew Henson–Polar Explorer
Carole Boston Weatherford (2008)

Written in first person lyrical verse with strong illustrations, this book tells the life story of Matthew Henson, an African American man who accompanied Peary to the North Pole.  

Grades K-5

Lexile 1070

Fountas & Pinnell: O

Iditarod Dream: Dusty and His Sled Dogs Compete in Alaska’s Junior Iditarod

Ted Wood (1996)

This photo-essay tells the true story of 15-year-old Dusty Whittemore, as he and his dogs prepare for, run and win the Junior Iditarod.

EDU Review

Grades 3 – 5

Lexile 890

My Life in Dog Years
Gary Paulsen (1998)

Paulsen tells of eight dogs which have had a special place in his life.

Grades 4 and up

Lexile 1150

Fountas & Pinnell: S

Sled Racing Dogs 
Alicia Z. Klepeis (2019)

Chapters include On the Trail, How Sled Dog Racing Got Started, Breeds and Training, and Basics of Sled Dog Racing. Text is short, but detailed filled. Includes color photos and glossary.

Grades 3-6.

Snow Dogs! Racers of the North
Ian Whitelaw (2008)

This DK Reader introduces children to sled dog racing, and what it takes to be the leader of the pack.
Ages 9 – 12

Storm Run: The Story of the First Woman to Win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race
Libby Riddles (1996, 2001)

As the first woman to win the Iditarod, Libby Riddles details what inspired her to train for the race, and what it took to win in 1985.
Grades 2 – 5

Stubborn Gal: The True Story of an Undefeated Sled Dog Racer
Dan O’Neill (2015)

The true story of Sarah, who enters, and wins (!), her first sled dog race.

Grades 3-6 

Book Unit