This is an excellent book about an extremely difficult topic. The main character is a young orphan boy who is sold into slavery by his uncle because the family is poor and cannot afford to care for the child. A rich Sheikh purchases the boy and forces him to work as a camel racer.
While the book does not describe the grisly deaths that camel racers often face, or the beatings and abuses that come with being enslaved, it is clear the child is not surrounded by nice, much less loving, people.
It also has a fairy tale ending, which makes the harsh realities easier to handle.
“That evening, as Azad and Asfur sat with the Bedouin around the fire, one of them played on his rababa. He sang about a brave little boy and his camel…who had found a home at last.”
–Azad’s Camel by Erika Pal