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Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
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Island of the Blue Dolphins (edition 2010)

by Scott O'Dell

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,284202323 (3.92)202
Member:aimeestanaland
Title:Island of the Blue Dolphins
Authors:Scott O'Dell
Info:Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (2010), Edition: Anv, Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:death, family life, siblings, survival, surviving the elements, courage, Pacific Islands, baby animals

Work details

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

  1. 80
    Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (snapdragongirl)
    snapdragongirl: Hatchet is also a survivalist book for young adults. It is about a boy who crash lands in a forest. His only tool is a hatchet.
  2. 70
    Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (gilberts)
  3. 40
    My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (changsbooks)
  4. 30
    Zia by Scott O'Dell (Hollerama)
    Hollerama: Zia is the sequel to Island of the Blue Dolphins
  5. 30
    The Cay by Theodore Taylor (bookymouse)
  6. 20
    A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer (foggidawn)
  7. 10
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (changsbooks)
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» See also 202 mentions

English (199)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (201)
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
Reviewed on my blog 10th April as part of my A to Z Blog Challenge. I first heard of this book at a seminar on children’s writing; it was a recommended book. It then waited in among my long and growing set of ‘books to read’ until I realised it fitted – just – into the category of Classic children’s books, having been first published in 1960. Now I’ve read it I would recommend it to everyone as a classic.

We find ourselves on the Island of the Blue Dolphins with Karana, her brother, family and tribe, living as a native people would. However the red sails of an Aleut ship are in sight, and knowing that this has caused trouble in the past, Karana’s father takes care in his negotiations with them for the hunting of otters in their waters. Despite his care things turn bad, and then worse. A different ship arrives, offering to take the remainder of the tribe to safety in the east, but Karana’s brother turns back to fetch something he has forgotten, and Karana leaps from a canoe, which is taking her from the island to the ship, to find him.

What follows is the tale of Karana’s life fending for herself on a deserted island. There are friendships and fights, hardships and successes. She overcomes her superstitions and her fears, and shows her resourcefulness and patience.

The tale is beautifully written, and whilst not paying too much attention to detail, I felt that there are enough hints for anyone with the misfortune to be stranded on a desert island to make the best of their opportunities. I expect these days it is read in schools with plenty of additional material for children to try their hand at crafting some of the items Karana makes, although perhaps substituting something more mundane for cormorant feathers or elephant seal tusks. I might like to try mapping the island or drawing the view of Coral Cove.

The story is based on a legend that appears to have substance, of a girl stranded on an island to the west of California, who was eventually rescued and brought to Santa Monica to live out her days. I’m not sure whether that is important, but I do know that it is an enchanting tale in the best of senses, and one that will spur many readers to imagine themselves in Karana’s footprints when they next go paddling around rock pools or exploring sea-caves by canoe.

[despite the product description, the Puffin kindle edition does not have illustrations] ( )
  Jemima_Pett | Nov 11, 2014 |
This "based on a true story" children's novel tells the story of Karana, a young girl left stranded on her island home when her tribe is taken by missionaries to Santa Barbara. It is based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Native American left alone on San Nicolas Island from 1835-1853.Similar to the survival stories found in Hatchet and Sarah Bishop, we get a glimpse into the fictionalized life of Karana and how she survived on her own. Her adventure begins at the age of 12, and she learns to defend her home from wild animals, hide from the Aleuts who come to hunt otters, hunt for food, and survive without being taught many skills.The real star of the show is Rontu. In the interest of not spoiling anyone who hasn't read it, I'll just say that I fell in love with him, and tears were shed in his honor. Rontu, I love you and your yellow eyes. If I were stranded on an island alone (and at times that sounds like a slice of heaven, to be honest), I would want Rontu with me.
I love that it is based on a true story, and I love reading about the minutia of her daily life. Great classic, and one that is often required reading in schools. If you haven't read it and like survival novels for kids, you should enjoy.
  astinchavez | Nov 7, 2014 |
(5.5)
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
*Part of the "Reviewing Children's Classics Series" at Reading Through The World

This "based on a true story" children's novel tells the story of Karana, a young girl left stranded on her island home when her tribe is taken by missionaries to Santa Barbara. It is based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Native American left alone on San Nicolas Island from 1835-1853.

Similar to the survival stories found in Hatchet and Sarah Bishop, we get a glimpse into the fictionalized life of Karana and how she survived on her own. Her adventure begins at the age of 12, and she learns to defend her home from wild animals, hide from the Aleuts who come to hunt otters, hunt for food, and survive without being taught many skills.

The real star of the show is Rontu. In the interest of not spoiling anyone who hasn't read it, I'll just say that I fell in love with him, and tears were shed in his honor. Rontu, I love you and your yellow eyes. If I were stranded on an island alone (and at times that sounds like a slice of heaven, to be honest), I would want Rontu with me.

I love that it is based on a true story, and I love reading about the minutia of her daily life. Great classic, and one that is often required reading in schools. If you haven't read it and like survival novels for kids, you should enjoy. ( )
  GovMarley | Oct 7, 2014 |
I know this book is about a true story of a woman who actually lived on an island by herself from 1835-1853, but I just could not find the beauty in it. It was just ok to me. I found the story to be inspiring for someone other than me, beautiful for someone other than me, and a book of determination for someone other than me. It lacked the ability to create wonder in my imagination. I wasn't excited to turn the page to see what happened next, and maybe that was because it was a bit slow to me. Maybe that's why I enjoy children's picture books so much, I want to get quickly through the book and enjoy fabulous illustrations to help paint the story in my mind. It was not for me, but it does not mean it's not for someone else. ( )
  abrozi1 | Oct 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 199 (next | show all)
Based on actual events, this is an adventure story of an Indian girl living on the island of San Nicolas off the California coast. With her adaptability and resilience, she survived alone on the island for eighteen years. Some cultural information on island lifeways is included. Illustrated with twelve full-page watercolors.
 

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott O'Dellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cardinal, TantooNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the Russell Children: Isaac, Dorsa, Clare, Gillian, and Felicity, and to Eric, Cherie, and Twinkle.
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I remember the day the Aleut ship came to our island.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please do not combine the original book with "and related readings".
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440439884, Paperback)

Product Description
The Newberry Medal-winning story of a 12-year old girl who lives alone on a Pacific island after she leaps from a rescue ship. Isolated on the island for eighteen years, Karana forages for food, builds weapons to fight predators, clothes herself in a cormorant feathered skirt, and finds strength and peace in her seclusion. A classic tale of discovery and solitude returns to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for its 50th anniversary, with a new introduction by Lois Lowry.


Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Lois Lowry on Writing the Introduction to Island of the Blue Dolphins, 50th Anniversary Edition

Dear Amazon readers,

Last summer, when I was asked to write an introduction to a new edition of Island of the Blue Dolphins, my mind went back in time to the 1960s, when my children were young and it was one of their best-loved books.

But a later memory surfaced, as well, of a party I was invited to in the summer of 1979. By now the kids were grown. I was in New York to attend a convention of the American Library Association, and Scott O'Dell's publisher, Houghton Mifflin, was honoring him at a reception being held at the St. Regis Hotel. I had never met Mr. O'Dell. But because of my own children I knew his books, and I was pleased to be invited to such an illustrious event.

I was staying at a nearby hotel and planned to walk over to the party. But when I began to get dressed, I encountered a problem. I was wearing, I remember, a rose-colored crêpe de Chine dress. It buttoned up the back. I was alone in my hotel room. I buttoned the bottom buttons, and I buttoned the top buttons, but there was one button in the middle of my back that I simply couldn’t reach. It makes me laugh today, thinking about it, picturing the contortions I went through in that hotel room: twisting my arms, twisting my back, all to no avail.

The clock was ticking. The party would start soon. I had no other clothes except the casual things I'd been wearing all day and which were now wrinkled from the summer heat.

Finally I decided, The heck with it. I left the room with the button unbuttoned and headed off. When I got in my hotel elevator, a benign-looking older couple, probably tourists from the Midwest, were already standing inside, and I explained my predicament politely and asked if they could give me a hand. The gray-haired man kindly buttoned my dress for me.

We parted company in the lobby of my hotel and off I went to the St. Regis, where I milled around and chatted with countless people, sipped wine, and waited for the guest of honor, Scott O'Dell, to be introduced. When he was, of course he turned out to be the eighty-one-year-old man who had buttoned my dress.

But wait! There's more. Ten years passed.

I had never seen Mr. O'Dell during the intervening years, but now, suddenly, we were the two speakers at a luncheon being held on a college campus somewhere. I think it may have been Vassar.

We sat next to each other at the head table, nibbling our chicken, chatting about the weather. I knew he wouldn't remember me, but I certainly remembered him, and I was secretly thinking that when it was my turn to speak, I might tell the audience the amusing little anecdote about the button on my dress. But he went first. And, eyes twinkling, he started his speech with "The last time I was with Lois Lowry, we were in a New York hotel. I was helping her get dressed." He was ninety-one at the time. All of this floated back into my mind when I found myself rereading, last summer, The Island of the Blue Dolphins. None of it was appropriate to the book's introduction, of course, and I went on to write, instead, about the power of the story and the magnificence of the writing. Not that anyone needed reminding! There has never been a question about Scott O'Dell's brilliance as a writer and storyteller. But it's nice to have a chance, here, to tell an audience that he was also a sweet and funny man.

Lois Lowry

(Photo © Neil Giordano)



(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:29 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Records the courage and self-reliance of an Indian girl who lived alone for eighteen years on an isolated island off the California coast when her tribe emigrated and she was left behind.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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