Lifestyle Reader Contributed

West Hartford Teen and Grandmother Co-Author ‘The Story of Camelback Mountain’

Pam Hait (left) and Estelle Cohen at the book signing. Courtesy of Pam Hait

Estelle Cohen of West Hartford, who will be a sophomore at Conard High School this fall, together with her grandmother has published a children’s book about the history of Camelback Mountain in Arizona.

Image of Camelback mountain from the perspective of Estelle’s grandmother’s house. Photo courtesy of Jamie Cohen


Estelle Cohen, a rising sophomore at Conard High School, is the co-author of new children’s book, “The Story of Camelback Mountain.”

She wrote the story with her grandmother, Pam Hait, who has been a resident of Paradise Valley (a suburb of Phoenix), since the early 1970s. The book is illustrated by Sebastien Millon, also an Arizonan.

The Story of Camelback Mountain. Courtesy image

“Camelback Mountain is a very important part of my childhood,” Estelle said. “My mother grew up at the base of the mountain and my grandmother used to tell us the story she made up about the mountain when we visited. I told her that we should turn it into a book. When she called and asked me to write this book with her as part of a fundraising effort to preserving the mountain, I was in.”

Camelback Mountain is the iconic landmark for the entire Phoenix area. The book tells the story of a princess who receives a camel for her fifth birthday. Her great-grandfather tells the princess that when she is 7, she must take the camel on a journey, and that her camel will be very important to the world.

Estelle and Pam wanted to teach young children a gentle lesson about honoring nature. An ardent conservationist, Estelle is pleased to have this opportunity to help children understand the importance of preservation.

Estelle Cohen at her book reading. Courtesy of Pam Hait

The book was launched at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix in early March 2020. Estelle gave two live readings of the book to standing room only crowds that included the mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego, and the vice mayor of Paradise Valley, Julie Pace.

From left: Estelle Cohen, Sebastien Millon, and Pam Hait. Photo courtesy of Pam Hait

All proceeds from the sale of “The Story of Camelback Mountain” support the Paradise Valley Mountain Preserve Trust, which is committed to preserving and conserving the mountains in Paradise Valley, including Camelback Mountain.

The book is available on Amazon and is written for children of all ages and for those who care about protecting our natural spaces.

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