5 out of 5 stars
The year is 1856 and Ali soon finds himself in Texas as part of the U.S. Camel Corps. Crossing the landscape of 19th century America, Ali learns to balance his pride with the needs of his new companions, and slowly matures into a noble creature. (Source: Goodreads)
Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel by Kathleen Karr is a book that I read several years ago and yet it has stuck with me over the years. I originally picked it up because the title fascinated me. Who knew that camels had memoirs?! It didn’t disappoint me at all. It may be a youth fiction book, but I believe all ages would enjoy reading it. It was fascinating and I had trouble putting it down!
Not only did I enjoy the story line and the descriptions of the setting by the author, but I also learned something while reading it. Did you know that the United States Army had a Camel Corps before and during the Civil War? I didn’t. That’s the whole premise behind this story – a camel is sent from Egypt to the United States to be a part of the United States Army Camel Corps. Unfortunately, the Civil War began and the Camel Corps was dismantled in order to route funds to other needed areas. Otherwise, who knows, we could have had service men and women serving in the Camel Corps even today!
One of my favorite parts of this book is that it’s written from the camel’s point of view. Not only do we get the details of his journey, but how he feels about leaving his homeland, whether he should spit/bite someone, etc.
I highly recommend this interesting and brilliantly told tale!