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EconKids Home New Picture Books in 2009 (First Word J-P) Muktar and the Camels / by Janet Graber, illustrated by Scott Mack

Muktar and the Camels / by Janet Graber, illustrated by Scott Mack


Title: Muktar and the Camels
Author: Janet Graber
Illustrator: Scott Mack
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 978-0-8050-7834-3
Year: 2009

Concepts: child schooling and work, human resources, economics of conflict

Review: As a Somali refugee living in an orphanage on the border between Kenya and Somalia, Muktar longs deeply for his parents and his former nomadic life-style.  His teacher may call him a lazy dreamer, but Muktar still needs to spend time treasuring the memories of his family and their camels as they wandered over the land. A surprise visit from a three-camel convoy delivering books to the orphanage leads to a chance for Muktar to demonstrate his skills in caring for camels and his desire to work with camels.

This unique book brings to life the plight of child refugees from Somalia and the challenges they face in adjusting to a new way of life away from home.  The lucid text and beautiful oil paintings work well together in delivering a compelling story about new opportunities in the midst of exceptional hardship.

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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