Big-Enough Anna

This lesson was written with fifth grade standards, but easily moves up or down grade levels. Students use foldables to analyze the book. The book can be ordered from the author’s web site below.

This book is a biography for children. It’s by Pam Flowers, with Ann Dixon, and it’s about Pam’s 1993 2,500 mile trans-Arctic journey and an unlikely little dog who saved the expedition. Pam is the first woman to travel this trip, a trip which traced the1923-34 route of explorers Knud Rasmussen, Anarulunguaq, and Miteq. Anarulunguaq was a young Inuit woman of Greenland whose job was to drive the dog teams, interpret, cook, mend, sew, and help Rasmussen collect information about the culture and history of Inuit people in Canada and Alaska. In fact, Anna the dog is named for this young woman.

When Pam talked to us at the Iditarod Summer Camp, she told us the story of her journey and of Anna’s adventure. I was enthralled by the challenges Pam and her team faced and dealt with—the trust in each other to keep going where one led, whether it was the musher or the dog, and the determination to finish what they started.

Pam writes books and travels to present at schools. Visit her web site for more information. Pam also wrote an autobiographical accounting of the trip for older readers and adults titled Alone Across the Arctic.  Still an adventurer, Pam hiked the Appalachian Trail, approximately 5 million steps, with her black lab named Ellie. Look for a new book coming out about Ellie’s adventure.

Mushing on,