I was so happy to find this site - I have read the other question/answers about similar plot books but they didn’t quite match the details of the one I am looking for which is as follows:
- Plot is about a prisoner sentenced to either death or exile on a prison planet.
- Book was smallish (5”x7”ish) hard bound with a white or off white colour and from memory was in a section of similarly bound books so may have been part of a series or publisher collection.
- Book was slim, probably less 100 pages.
- Protagonist finds shelter in a cave after landing.
- Protagonist either befriends or allies with an alien, maybe a wooly or hair covered alien that to my early mind seemed like a Chewbacca/Wookiee, though publication likely preceded Star Wars.
- That’s about all, other than the vague memory that it had a sad ending, like either the protagonist or his ally didn’t make it off the planet or were killed.
Thanks in advance to anyone who has memory of such a story on such scant detail - read it 40 years ago so I don’t remember it much, but I often remember the experience and excitement of first picking out the book from our small, rural elementary school library.