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Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel Hardcover – April 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 5th - 8th
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions; Library Binding edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761451641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761451648
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 4-8. The actual history, found in a note at the back of the book, is fascinating: in the 1850s the U.S. army shipped camels from Egypt and tried to train them in the Texas desert, with hopes they would help the army "cope with desert terrain." Karr draws on the history, but she tells the story from the viewpoint of one brave camel, Ali, who is torn from his mother in Egypt, sold to Christians, and shipped to America to work with the Camel Corps--until the whole idea is abandoned and he escapes to blaze his own trail. History through the eye of a camel is a cute idea, perhaps for a picture book, but it's tedious here and seems contrived in a long novel, despite Karr's careful interweaving of the real events and people of the time. Even so, readers will have fun imagining the animal's physical experience with those clumsy "soldier-beasts" and "silly natives," and many will spot the parallels with slaves and indentured immigrants torn from their roots, never to return. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Kathleen Karr surprises her readers each time she finishes a book, as no two are alike. Whether she’s writing about a 15-year-old boy settling in the Carolina Colony in 1670 (Worlds Apart) or a high-flying chase across Europe in search of stolen artwork (The 7th Knot), she engages and exhilarates her readers. Ms. Karr’s latest novel, Born for Adventure, takes readers deep into the heart of the African jungle. Her titles have been selected for the American Library Association’s recommended bibliographies, Notable Books for Children and Best Books for Young Adults. She and her husband, the parents of two grown children, live in a restored town house in Washington, D.C.

More About the Author

Kathleen Karr is the author of many highly acclaimed works of historical fiction, including Fortune's Fool and Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel. Her book The Great Turkey Walk was named a Best Book of the Year by both School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. The Boxer was an ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and winner of the Golden Kite Award for Fiction, and The 7th Knot received an Agatha Award for Best Mystery. Other titles have been selected for ALA bibliographies and named ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Books. She is the parent of two grown children and lives in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

I recommend this book for adults as well as children.
Ms Winston
The story is not only told from the camel's perspective, but also blends in a very Muslim perspective in to the actions and motivations of the main characters.
Mirrani
If you don't like camels now you will love them by the end of the story.
Cthulu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Shelley Gammon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was torn on how to review this book. On one hand, the book is a page turner, but as a children's book (or at least children's reading level), it's hard not to be a page-turner... on the other hand, the references to the Q'uran and Allah were nearly on every single page. It was over the top. I do not have a problem with children being exposed to other cultures or other religions - but this was not exposure - this was non-stop praise for Allah. Each chapter opens with a quote from the Q'uran and nearly every page has either a person or a camel praising Allah. I don't know if it was put in there to try to add realism to the story, but it was so emphasized, it made itself way too obvious. It was a distraction to the story. I was interested in reading this book when I read the description because of the history of the US Camel Corps. I had never heard of this experiment in American history and was intrigued by the story. The camels were captured and sold in Egypt to the US government - so I get the names they used - many of which were the authentic names of actual camels and people involved in the Camel Corps. The camels bowing to pray to Allah was a bit much. Even without the non-stop indoctrination (seriously - nearly every page), the content was a bit intense for young readers. The book is listed as for grades 4-8. Even without addressing the all-Allah-all-the-time references, the subject matter seems to be beyond what I'd feel comfortable with even a 7th grader reading. Camels mating, camels killing each other, and the Egyptian cameleer anxious to go into town to get to the prostitutes. Seriously? I'm not sure what the editors were thinking and why they didn't rein some of this in.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because it looked funny. It was not funny, but it was an amazing book! I read it in one night, without stopping. I loved it! I barely knew about the "Camel Corps" before reading this book. It is a unique story told from a camel's eyes. Each camel has its own personality, just like humans. For expample, Ali, the main character, is a camel that never submits to humans, and dreams to run free, Omar is a huge show-off and very mean, Seid is Ali's best friend and a bit of a show-off, but also kind, and Fatinah is Ali's shy true love. This book is truely one of the best books I've ever read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tav on December 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
i am very impressed with this book. it mixed history with an interesting story of a camel. i highly recomend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ed VINE VOICE on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My wife got this book "Exiled - Memoirs of a Camel" for our 9 1/2 yr. old grandson to read, when he comes to visit this summer. She just finished reading it to make sure that it would be something he would enjoy. Well, she enjoyed it immensely, but felt that it was too advanced for the kid, so we will save it for later. The story is told by Ali the Camel, weaving a wonderful story about his life, and his ups and downs throughout: He enjoyed a quiet peaceful childhood in Egypt, then was captured and sold to be trained to work and caravan for the mean "men-beast" masters. Ali decided that he would comply, but would never submit! His dream would always be to "one day be free"! As adventures go, he ended up taking a sea voyage on a ship headed to the United States to be part of the U.S. Camel Corp. Ali and other camels onboard would be the first group for this project, along with their kind human master, Hi-Jolly. On the voyage he met the love of his life, a female Camel named Fatinah, so not only do we have adventure, but also a love story. All the Camels worked and traveled through the Southwest hauling equipment from Texas to California. After a few years they were no longer needed and forgotten, or sold for mine work or to the circus. This was the time for Ali and Fatinah to find their new free life! We happen to live in Arizona and know something about Hi-Jolly and the U.S. Camel Corps. We have been to Quartzsite, AZ. and seen the monument mentioned in the Author's Note, and that was the reason for selecting this very enjoyable book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jill D. Hoffmann on September 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because firstly I like camels very much; secondly, have always been intrigued by the history of this particular incident in U.S. history which is actually little known; I am told that if you travel to the south of Tx you can still find an occassional camel on the way; I hope it is true. I liked the book, I liked Ali, he thinks and acts like I believe a camel probably would; the book is so nicely printed, it is a gem to have; like an old journal/diary. It is not a deep book, but I found it entertaining and a good diversion from the lousy news all around us during these times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Burnham on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel" is the story of a gentle camel transported to the Wild American West before the American Civil War. As part of the US Camel Corp, our hero is all camel-he spits and he is stubborn but, that is the true nature of camels as his mother taught him. As a good Muslim camel, he must adjust to the idea of non-Muslim masters. The US Camel Corps was begun to see if camels could be used by the Army in the Southwest to carry supplies to remote locations. Great book for 5th and 6th graders and they will need a map of Egypt and the US to understand all the many details. This is a good book for a class to read along with formal studies of the Middle East or the American West.
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