Camel Crazy: A Quest for Miracles in the Mysterious World of Camels
In this frustrating follow-up to Adams’s 2005 memoir A Real Boy
, she recounts discovering an unlikely method for alleviating the issues associated with her son Jonah’s autism. Having stumbled onto references to the healing powers of camel milk, she investigated further and decided to try it. After just a single dose, she reports, the seven-year-old’s symptoms vanished—he slept through the night, displayed affection, and had complete control over his limbs and behavior, making it through an entire school day without incident. Today, he’s 20, and “people who meet him can’t tell he has autism.” Admitting that the jury’s still out on exactly why camel milk works in treating (not curing) some cases of autism and other conditions such as diabetes, Adams ventures into current research on the subject, interviewing several scientists and having a lab run a preliminary test of the milk. However, she spends the bulk of her time visiting camel farm after camel farm and meeting with various milk producers and vendors. The repetitive quality of Adams’s narrative is somewhat compensated for by the book’s appendices, which include tips on handling and storage, suggested dosages, potential side effects, and a global list of distributors. Parents eager for an in-depth take on a potentially promising autism treatment will be disappointed to find this amounts to little more than an overly digressive look at the camel milk industry. Agent: Dana Newman, Dana Newman Literary. (Nov.)
Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly stated the author did not interview any experts during her research.