The Great Camel Experiment of the Old West
Written by Sherry Alexander
Photographs by Doug Baum
126 pages – ages 8+
Published by Halo Publishing International on August 5, 2015
Synopsis- The Great Camel Experiment was an experiment conducted by the US Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis (before he became President of the Confederacy) to see if they could find a mount for transport in the West Coast area, as horses and mules kept dying from exhaustion and dehydration. The book chronicles how they thought of the idea of using camels, how they received the camels, and what they did with the camels. It is an informative book about one of the more obscure times in American history.
What I Thought- This was a good nonfiction book about a little known event in American history. I knew nothing about this experiment, and I learned a lot about the movement to get camels working to help settle the Old West. I think kids will enjoy learning about the experiment and the book could be used as a resource for history classes. There are pictures in the book (B&W in paperback, color on the ebook) of camel experiment reenactment scenes (The only problem I have with the reenactment group is that you can see a pickup truck on the front cover – not going with the time period of the story). I enjoyed the facts in the book, and the journal entries from the men in charge of the camel experiment. The story was tight but there were a few editing errors, but they are very subtle, and don’t take you away from the story. I enjoyed learning about the experiment, this time period in American history and camels in general.
I give this book four out of five bookworms.