Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Masha Hamilton – “The Camel Bookmobile”


Once a fortnight, the nomadic settlement of Madidima, in Kenya receives a visit from the camel bookmobile. Kanika, a young girl who lives with her grandmother, devours the books avidly and dreams of being a teacher. Her best friend is Scarface, a child mauled by a hyena at the age of three and virtually an outcast. Among the many other fascinating characters are the American Fi Sweeney who is out to do ‘something that matters ‘ in the world and Mr Abasi, the local librarian who thinks his camel is possessed by the spirit of his mother.
The camel bookmobile has only one inflexible rule - that every book must be returned on the next fortnightly visit. And then one day, two books are stolen...
A must read....

MASHA HAMILTON worked as a foreign correspondent for five years in the Middle East. In 2004 she travelled to Afghanistan to report on the country’s reconstruction efforts. While the characters in the Camel Bookmobile are fictional, the novel was inspired by the Kenyan Camel Mobile Library, set up by the government to improve literacy in poverty-stricken areas.

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