This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960)

by Scott O'Dell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,300263301 (3.92)310
  1. 90
    Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (gilberts)
  2. 90
    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.
  3. 50
    My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (changsbooks)
  4. 30
    Zia by Scott O'Dell (HollyMS)
    HollyMS: 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
    A Wild Thing by Jean Renvoize (weener)
    weener: These are both excellent tales of young women surviving on their own who find a measure of peace in their solitude.
  8. 10
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (changsbooks)
  9. 00
    Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (trillianiris)
  10. 00
    Phoenix Rising by Karen Hesse (trillianiris)
  11. 00
    The Iceberg Hermit (Point) by Arthur Roth (trillianiris)
    trillianiris: Same concept, except with a boy, a polar bear, and an "island" of ice.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 310 mentions

English (261)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (263)
Showing 1-5 of 261 (next | show all)
Sadder than I remembered. ( )
  wirehead | Sep 3, 2018 |
This 1960 novel of a girl who is left all alone on a smallish island when the rest of her people relocate elsewhere was, I think, already considered something of a classic when I first read it as a kid in the 1970s. I think I actually read it several times, but I remembered very little about it -- just enough for me to feel a sense of deja vu on re-reading it now.

And I was surprised by how well it held up. Adult me wasn't quite as enthralled with the story as I think young me was, reading what was probably the first such survival tale I ever encountered, and I did find myself wishing, just a little, for a longer, more fleshed-out and detailed telling. But I can absolutely see why kid me found it compelling, and I still liked it and even, in the end, found it unexpectedly moving. Also, how glad am I that, in reviewing a book from 1960 about a girl from an indigenous society, I don't have to add comments like, "Well, you do have to keep in mind that it's a product of its time"? Very. Very glad.

What I'm really wondering now, though, is how I ever managed to forget the fact that this was based on a true story, albeit one about which very few details are known. That really does add an extra layer of poignancy to the experience of reading it, I think. You can't help but wonder about the lost story of the poor woman (probably not a girl as young as the one in the novel) who actually lived this life, or one like it. ( )
  bragan | Jul 14, 2018 |
5569. Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell (read 14 Jul 2018) Every once in a while I read juvenile books which seem to me I should read. This book is a famed book which purports to tell the story of a girl who lived on San Nicolas Island, off the coast of California alone for 18 years ending in 1853. It seems quite improbable but depicts the girl as quite a resourceful girl, as she lived her Robinson Crusoe existence. It reads easily and I even found it a bit poignant,, particularly when her dog--which she had tamed from the feral state--dies. And the girl evolves,on her own, from a killer of animals to a more likeable persona. I have read less interesting juvenile books. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jul 14, 2018 |
This is fast becoming a classic of children’s literature. The novel is based on a true story of a woman left behind on an island off the coast of California when the rest of her Native American tribe left the island for the mainland. The real woman who was eventually rescued and taken to Santa Barbara Mission spoke a language that no one understood. She succumbed to disease just a few weeks after arriving in California, so she was unable to tell her story, except for a few basic ideas conveyed in a sort of sign language. O’Dell imagined the rest.

Karana is twelve years old at the outset of the novel, used to the division of labor and cooperative work of her tribal family. She knows how to make clothing and forage for food, but tribal custom leaves the hunting and fishing to the men. Still, she is a keen observer and figures out how to repair an old canoe, build a shelter, secure stores of food, and clothe herself. Left alone on the island, she struggles with making a decision to hunt – will the gods be angry if she dares to craft a weapon and use it?

I loved this young woman. She’s practical and brave, resourceful and creative. She works hard at survival, but she works “smart” as well. The village area that was ideal for a community is too exposed for her to live there alone. The large flat mesa-like rock gives her safety from the pack of wild dogs but does not provide shelter from the wind and elements. She befriends one of the dogs and has a companion at last … for the first time realizing how lonely she had been before she had Rontu to talk to.

I really liked how O’Dell conveyed the importance of a connection to nature. He also gives a sense of how all-consuming the work of survival is for Karana. This is not to say that she has no elements of joy or play, but she cannot afford to be idle for long.

O’Dell has crafted an enduring story of strength, courage and resilience. The book won the John Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature.

Note: This is the second time I've read this, the first being sometime in about 1998. But I didn't record it in any way, nor write any review at that time. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jun 11, 2018 |
I first read this in 3rd or 4th grade, but I didn't remember most of what happened so I don't even count it as a reread. This is a classic book about Karana, a Native American girl who is left behind on an island off the California coast in the 1800s (what I didn't know was that it was based on a true story, which is pretty cool). She spends many years (mostly) alone, surviving on her own with the occasional animal and human companion. This is a very internal book, made up mostly of descriptions of Karana's thoughts and actions. It is beautifully written, and even though you get the sense that nothing bad will happen to her, the suspense is still present. Although, the ending seems a little more ambiguous now that I'm reading it as an adult... ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | May 31, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 261 (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 editionscalculated
Cardinal, TantooNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
The Russell Children:
and Felicity
and to Eric, Cherie
and Twinkle
First words
I remember the day the Aleut ship came to our island.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine the original book with "and related readings".
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:22 -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.

» see all 9 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.92)
0.5 4
1 34
1.5 8
2 102
2.5 30
3 488
3.5 87
4 832
4.5 95
5 672

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 129,031,236 books! | Top bar: Always visible