Taj and the Great Camel Trek
by Rosanne Hawke
University of Queensland Press, $16.95 pb, 245 pp, 9780702238772
To make Ernest Giles’s trek across the scrub and desert of southern Australia interesting to younger readers, relate it through the eyes of a young protagonist. It was an inspired choice to invent Taj, twelve-year-old son of the historical figure Saleh Mohamed, Afghan cameleer, and an equally inspired choice to invent Taj’s beloved young camel, Mustara. The love and respect between camel and boy lie at the heart of the novel, and symbolise the expedition’s ultimate success.