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Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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.
Paperback, 242 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Two Lions (first published 2004)
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Good Lord but this is a bizarre book, friends.

Bizarre, but fascinating.

So bizarrely fascinating, in fact, that in my mind it kind of suffers as a book aimed at younger readers. Apparently I would rather just be reading a nonfiction account of the United States Camel Corps, rather than this strange fictional mishmash of Incredible Journey meets King of the Wind meets Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

See, once upon a time, friends, the US Government decided that what they needed in life, more than a
I wish I had the hardbound book. I am glad that I was able to get the Kindle Unlimited version.

This is a fun little story based on true events between the gold rush and civil war. Camels were brought to America to aid in travel in the western deserts. This is from a fictional camel's point of view. Being from the land of the pyramids, Ali prays to Allah as is the custom from where he comes from.

Author, Kathleen Karr, wrote lovable characters. At times, there is a stretch of unbelievability, suc
Carol Royce Owen
In 1856 and 1857 camels were brought by boat from Egypt to be part of the United States Camel Corps, an experiment of then Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis. The camels were trained in Texas and used to help transport material, especially in the building of roads through desert terrain. When the Civil War broke out the experiment ended and many of the camels were sold off to mines and circuses or escaped.

Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel is told by one camel, Ali, who is brought over on the first trans
Bish Denham
If you or your kids want to learn about a little known bit of American history, written from the POV of a camel who lived through it, then Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel is for you! In 1856 a ship-load of camels was brought from Egypt to Texas. Another ship-load arrived the following year. It was hoped the camels would be useful to the U. S. Army for carrying supplies across the desert southwest. With Edward F. Beale in command, some of the camels were used to find a middle way to California. The ro ...more
Pamela Barrett
Exiled is based on a true story about the Camels who were brought to the United States in 1856 from Egypt, as part of the U.S. Camel Corps. They were used to help the army traverse the inhospitable Texan desert and create a new route to California. This cute story is told by a Camel named Ali, and his point of view makes this story come alive; in fact I’m still smiling as I write this because the author’s insights into camel behavior is entertaining and funny. Ali’s interaction with the other ca ...more
A story of change set in the time when America is first expanding, Exiled is an amusing history of the United States not often told. Based in a time when camels were taken from Africa and brought to help the military explore the deserts of our own country, this is a work of historical fiction that should not be missed. Readers of all ages will experience first hand, through the eyes of Ali the camel, what it is like to be taken from all that you know, to be forced to work for people who do not u ...more
Ali, the spirited dromedary camel (that's a one-humped camel), has a story to tell of growing up and living under the shadow of the man-beasts. He is born next to the Nile River in 1855 and is blissfully happy during his milk-days with his mother. Then he is captured by the man-beasts and quickly learns the difference between yield and submit, as his mother tried to teach him. "We camels never submit willingly. Work, but never surrender," she tells Ali.

A year later, Ali was sold to an American m
In 1856 and 1857 United States Secretary of War Jefferson Davis imported camels from Egypt to serve the US Military in Texas and further West. This is their story, written from the point of view of one of the camels, Ali.

"Allah in His infinite wisdom created my kind, and I have no grudge to bear on that account. Are we not full of His meaning and high design? Are not we Ships of the Desert wonderfully practical? We can survive without water for days. We can live on thorns. But the part about car
Bg Mesina
I count myself lucky to find this book piled up among kids books in an obscure bookstore in UAE. I was just looking for something to read. Funny that after Memoirs of a Geisha, Memoirs of a Camel became a favorite.
It is simple tale about camels and survival from point of view of a camel. It has drama, wit, adventure and lessons that are beneficial to growing kids. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Plus I get to learn about the US Camel Corps, something I had no idea existed.
Indeed it is a gem.
I love finding off-beat incidents in history that give new insight to human endeavors. The camels brought to the U.S. before the Civil War, to help navigate the desert and build roads in the Southwest, are one of those exploits that have you rooting for the success of man and beast while you wonder, "What could the camels have been thinking?" Luckily, this tale is told as point-of-view of the camel!
a young adult book/pre-teen maybe. Interesting subject idea- I never knew that the US Army had the idea to create a Camel Corp. Camels were brought over from Egypt in 1856/7 in an attempt to create a force usable in the desert southwest. the idea failed and the camels were sold off or let go. Camel sightings were recorded into the 1920's. Pretty crazy. the skeleton of one of the original camel's is in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Interesting- yes. The book is told from the viewpoin ...more
A fictionalized story of a camel named Ali who is transported from Egypt to Texas as the United States Camel Corps. Two shipments in 1956 and in 1957 came to Texas in an experiment in using camels to travel in the American desert. The story is told from the camel's point of view and covers birth in the Egyptian wild, capture by Egyptians, attempting to tame the camel and being sold to American soldiers. The camel takes a three month trip on ship to Texas and the life under their new masters. The ...more
Zach Miracle
Every time I walked through the library and saw this book title and the engaging cover image, I was intrigued, and I finally had a chance to pick it up and read it this weekend.

This delightful book, by Kathleen Karr, follows the adventures of Ali, a camel from Egypt who is brought to Texas in 1856 as part of a US Army experiment to see if camels would be useful in the opening of the Great American West. This unlikely tale is based on true events, but told from the perspective of Ali. His observa
Amanda Fack
This reads like a classic tale; the writing is clear and sophisticated. Although short, recommended for strong readers for challenging word choices.[return] Ali is a camel born wild in Egypt, later captured and sold to a general who wants to make a camel cavalry for the United States army. Along the journey, he makes friends, enemies, and starts a family. Even though it is the memoirs of a camel, it reads realistically.[return]Fascinating author note details the research effort behind Exiled; th ...more
An awesome combination of all things I love - historical fiction, a unique perspective, and camels! This was a great story told from Ali the camel's point of view - about his capture and relocation from Egypt to Texas - and all of his adventures along the way as he dreams of regaining his freedom. You'll have to read to find out if he does!

Paired with a nonfiction book about camels, this would be a fun read for students. I read it after I read The Camel Family and was excited that many of the fa
an amazing story based on actual events of bringing camels to the u.s.a. in the 19th century. the story is told from the voice of ali, a camel. totally engaging story.
Sudha Neelakantan
So unusual

loved seeing the world of the 1850s through a camels eyes. A very entertaining trip through history and culture where you don't even realize you were being educated.
Fun, quick read through the eyes of a young camel named, Ali. Little known account of a brief time in history when the US government used camels in the military. They were known at the United States Camel Corps and were shipped from Saudi Arabia to Texas in 1856. Unlike Arabia...the camels and young Ali have to acclimate to Texas..the deserts of the old West, Indians, rattlesnakes, and the California gold rush.

This book was entertaining and informative. I learned more about camels than I ever t
This was an interesting story of the United States Camel Corps that was started in 1850. A number of camels were bought in Egypt and brought to Texas to use in mapping the United States. An Egyptian man named Hadji Ali (Hi-Jolly) was hired to care for the camels while on ship and after they got to Texas. The camels were used for a few years in various jobs, such as mail carriers, mapping the United States, and other activities like that. This is the story of one camel and his family, told from t ...more
Steven Rodriguez
One of my favorite books ever!
I originally picked this book up because the title fascinated me. I mean, who knew that camels had memoirs. But it was really good and I learned a lot from it! I never knew that our army had a camel corp. before and during the Civil War.

And I loved that it was written from the point of view of the camel and you got to "see" some of the camel's thoughts such as whether or not he should bite someone or spit at them.

Being a children's book, it's not very long, but definitely worth the read. :)
Apr 09, 2011 Linden rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Grades 4-5
Kathleen Karr's Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel tells of the historically true import of camels to the U.S. during President Buchanan's tenure, just before the Civil War. Even more than the story, I enjoyed the voice of the author and was encouraged to look for others she has written. Perhaps this was because telling the story through the eyes of a (semi)domesticated animal is somewhat limiting in terms of inter-character communication, other than in Camel.
Ms. LaPorte's top pick for January 2010.

"Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel" is fiction, but much of fiction comes from information.
Could you imagine being a camel from Egypt, and being taken to the United States - Texas? This book is told from the point of view of a camel who had this experience.

Did you know the U.S. had a Camel Corp.? It ended with the Civil War. Read "Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel" and learn a bit more about it.

I LOVED this little fast reading book. It is the story of Ali, a camel from Egypt, who is sent to American to be trained by the Army. When the Civil War starts the Army has better things to do then work with camels so Ali must figure out a way to find his dream and keep his family together. It is amazing how well readers get to know Ali and his other camel friends. Great Book!
I foound this in the juvenile section and the title caught my eye. It's a quick, fun read, but also historically interesting. It's about the US experiment in the mid-1800s on a beginning camel corps, through the eyes of one of the camels. It only took a couple of hours and could possibly be a good read-aloud for a family (which would take more than a couple of hours).
Jori Richardson
Mar 21, 2013 Jori Richardson rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: younger readers
I didn't especially enjoy this book, but I am not going to say it wasn't good. I am not exactly one for animal stories, but I have to admit that "Exiled" is a unique, very fun adventure story.
Kathleen Karr is a great, funny, and original author. Who else would have thought of doing a comedy-adventure story about camels during the Civil War?
Having been to Camp Verde, I was delighted to discover Exiled, the fictional memoir of a camel brought to America to serve in the US's short-lived camel corps. Simple but entertaining, the book educates on a little-known bit of history while also subtly encouraging tolerance of other cultures. Plus, you know, it has camels.
The novel is well written. It was hard to put down at many places in the book. Although the writing style was different from a lot of things I read, I really enjoyed it and how it all tied in to an amazing ending. It was a very good read.
I read this with Jack. GREAT story written about Camels brought to America from Egypt used first in TX in the Army then as pack animals to settle west. Written in first person from the point of view of a Camel who calls humans beasts!
An interesting account of camel Ali's adventures from when he is taken from Egypt to the United States to become part of the US Camel Corp in 1856. Told in first person perspective by Ali.
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Kathleen Karr was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and grew up on a chicken farm in Dorothy, New Jersey. After escaping to college, she worked in the film industry, and also taught in high school and college. She seriously began writing fiction on a dare from her husband. After honing her skills in women’s fiction, her children asked her to write a book for them, (It Ain’t Always Easy, Farrar, Str ...more
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