Skip to main content

About the Book

About the Book

The Camel Bookmobile

Fiona Sweeney tells her family she wants to do something that
matters, they do not expect her to go to Africa to help start a
traveling library. But that is where Fiona chooses to make her
mark: in the arid bush of northeastern Kenya, among tiny, far-flung
communities, nearly unknown and lacking roads and schools, where
people live daily with drought, hunger, and disease.

In THE CAMEL BOOKMOBILE Fi travels to settlements where people have
never held a book in their hands. Her goal is to help bring Dr.
Seuss, Homer, Tom Sawyer, and Hemingway to a largely illiterate and
semi-nomadic populace. However, because the donated books are
limited in number and the settlements are many, the library
initiates a tough fine: if anyone fails to return a book, the
bookmobile will stop coming.

Though her motives are good, Fi doesn't understand the people she
seeks to help. Encumbered by her Western values, she finds herself
in the midst of several struggles within the community of Mididima.
There the bookmobile's presence sparks a feud between those who
favor modernization and those who fear the loss of the traditional
way of life in the African bush. The feud heightens when one young
man --- "Scar Boy" ---- doesn't return his books. As promised, the
library stops all visits, but Fi goes to the settlement alone,
determined to recover what has been lost.

Evocative, seamless, and haunting, THE CAMEL BOOKMOBILE is a
powerful saga that challenges our fears of the unknown. It is a
story that captures the riddles and calamities that often occur
when two cultures collide. It follows an American librarian who
travels to Africa to give meaning to her life, and ultimately loses
a piece of her heart. In the end, this compelling novel shows how
one life can change many, in spite of dangerous and seemingly
immutable obstacles.

THE CAMEL BOOKMOBILE © Copyright 2011 by Masha Hamilton.
Reprinted with permission by Harper Perennial. All rights

The Camel Bookmobile
by Masha Hamilton

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0061173487
  • ISBN-13: 9780061173486