Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton

Since I was a tiny camel calf I have been devouring books by their dozens. Today I decided it would be a great idea to start cataloguing them for posterity and so here we are. How better to start than to draw your attention to my favourite of all books - The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton. The lady deserves an award! A book about both camels and books! How could she fail?!

In all seriousness though, it is the most wonderful fictional account of an American volunteer who moves to Africa to work for a relief organization that sends books on camelback to isolated villages. Her intentions are sincere but, when the bookmobile causes a feud among the nomadic tribes it aims to help, she realizes her good deeds may come with a high price.

The book is based on a real venture running in Kenya. The laden camels trek through the desert of northern Kenya to bring a books to settlements so remote that they even lack roads, clean water, and often food. The people living in these villages have often never been to school or even held a book in their hands. The books that come to them via the camels are special gifts, allowing them to escape the hardships of their lives (however briefly).

Apart from (obviously!) appealing to camels, this book will especially appeal to readers who love book such as The Bookseller of Kabul. The author Masha Hamilton has her own website which you can find by clicking here . You can read more about the real Camel Book Drive by clicking here .

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