Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins

4.3 916
by Scott O'Dell, Tantoo Cardinal
     
 

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The gripping story of young Karana, who survives by herself for eighteen years on a deserted island off the California coast.

Overview

The gripping story of young Karana, who survives by herself for eighteen years on a deserted island off the California coast.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1961, this story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for eighteen years on an island off the coast of California, still fascinates young readers. Her survival story-fighting the wild dogs and loneliness, hunting for food, and hoping to be rescued-is spellbinding. 1996 (orig.
From the Publisher

"A haunting and unusual story based on the fact that in the early 1800s an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone on a rocky island far off the coast of California . . . A quiet acceptance of fate characterizes her ordeal." School Library Journal, Starred

"O'Dell tells the miraculous story of how Karana forages on land and in the ocean, clothes herself (in a green-cormorant skirt and an otter cape on special occasions), and secures shelter. Perhaps even more startlingly, she finds strength and serenity living alone on the island. This beautiful edition of Island of the Blue Dolphins is enriched with 12 full-page watercolor paintings by Ted Lewin, illustrator of more than 100 children's books, including Ali, Child of the Desert. A gripping story of battling wild dogs and sea elephants, this simply told, suspenseful tale of survival is also an uplifting adventure of the spirit." Amazon.com

Children's Literature - Maggie Chase
This 50th Anniversary Edition contains the same, beloved, classic story of Karana and her epic adventure of surviving on a Pacific island by herself for 18 years. The difference is that this edition begins with an Introduction by Lois Lowry. In it, Lowry recaps what is known about the real Karana, a woman who came to be known as Juana Maria, although she never answered to that name because she did not share a common language with anyone on the mainland of California. Lowry provides additional details to the Author's Note included in every edition of the book. For example, she tells readers that a Russian American trading company landed on the island of San Nicolas in 1811 to hunt sea otters, possibly setting off a chain reaction of human massacres. She also recounts the many stories or versions of why Karana ended up remaining behind when the rest of her people left on a schooner sponsored by the Santa Barbara Mission. Lowry includes musings and commentary about O'Dell's writing. She wonders at his ability to tell such a rich story with only one human character, and she regrets that she had not asked him a multitude of questions about the craft of his writing while he was still alive. Lowry as well as readers will have to be content with savoring the story itself and letting some of the mysteries and questions behind it remain unanswered. In 1982, O'Dell established the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, whose annual $5,000 prize is given to recognize meritorious work published for children or young adults. Reviewer: Maggie Chase
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
This beautiful edition commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the book's original publication in 1960. A welcome addition is the introduction by Lois Lowry, providing background on the historical events which inspired this story, and some thoughtful questions about O'Dell's interpretation of those events. Although this was O'Dell's first YA novel, it garnered him the Newbery Medal and he went on to receive the Hans Christian Andersen medal for his body of work. Readers meet 12-year-old Karana, the sole survivor of a tribe of indigenous people inhabiting a remote island about seventy miles southwest of Santa Barbara. After otter hunters and wild dogs kill off most of her people, Karana becomes self-sufficient and protects herself against wild animals, the weather, and potential intruders. Karana first tries to kill and then befriends Rantu, the leader of the dog pack, who becomes her beloved companion. This opens the door to her shifting view of all the animals on the island as more than just food, but spiritual beings with whom she may live in harmony. When at last Karana is rescued from the island and taken to the mission in Santa Barbara, she remains alone, because no one is alive who understands her language. It is a touching story of resilience and determination in the face of astounding obstacles. This new edition can foster rediscovery of a compelling character and enhance social science lessons about indigenous peoples, the role of missionaries in colonization, and California history. Readers will be impressed by Karana's strength, resourcefulness and her survival skills. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781598953336
Publisher:
Findaway World Llc
Publication date:
08/25/2006
Edition description:
Unabridged; Library Edition
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

An Excerpt from Island of the Blue Dolphins

There are no trees on the island except the small ones stunted by the
wind. When a log came ashore, as happened once in a long time, it was
always carried to the village and worked on where a chance wave could
not wash it away. That the men were sent to hollow out the log in the
cove, and to sleep beside it during the night, meant that they were there
to watch the Aleuts, to give the alarm should Captain Orlov try to sail
off without paying us for the otter skins.

Everyone was afraid he might, so besides the men in the cove who watch
the Aleut ship, others kept watch on the camp.

Every hour someone brought news. Ulape said that the Aleut woman spent
a whole afternoon cleaning her skin aprons, which she had not done before
while she had been there. Early one morning, Ramo said he had just seen
Captain Orlov carefully trimming his beard so that it looked the way it
did when he first came. The Aleuts who sharpened the log spears stopped
this work and gave all their time to skinning the otter which were brought
in at dusk.

We in the village of Ghalas-at knew that Captain Orlov and his hunters
were getting ready to leave the island. Would he pay us for the otter
he had slain or would he try to sneak away in the night? Would our men
have to fight for our rightful share?

These questions everyone asked while the Aleuts went about their preparations
—everyone except my father, who said nothing, but each night worked
on the new spear he was making.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A haunting and unusual story based on the fact that in the early 1800s an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone on a rocky island far off the coast of California . . . A quiet acceptance of fate characterizes her ordeal." School Library Journal, Starred

"O'Dell tells the miraculous story of how Karana forages on land and in the ocean, clothes herself (in a green-cormorant skirt and an otter cape on special occasions), and secures shelter. Perhaps even more startlingly, she finds strength and serenity living alone on the island. This beautiful edition of Island of the Blue Dolphins is enriched with 12 full-page watercolor paintings by Ted Lewin, illustrator of more than 100 children's books, including Ali, Child of the Desert. A gripping story of battling wild dogs and sea elephants, this simply told, suspenseful tale of survival is also an uplifting adventure of the spirit." Amazon.com

Meet the Author

Scott O’Dell (1898–1989), one of the most respected authors of historical fiction, received the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, and the Hans Christian Andersen Author Medal, the highest international recognition for a body of work by an author of books for young readers. Some of his many books include The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Road to Damietta, Sing Down the Moon, and The Black Pearl.

Customer Reviews

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The Island of the Blue Dolphins 4.3 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 917 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when I was in 4th grade. That was 15 years ago and I still remember the story from beginning to end. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading and the knowledge that can be gained from it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember reading Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was eleven. Recently I found my old copy, dusted it off, and started from the beginning. I could not put the book down. It was just as fresh to me as it was twenty-five years earlier. This is a book all ages can enjoy. I'm looking forward to reading it to my daughter in a few years. Scott O' Dell beautifully created a strong female protagonist that figured out a way to survive against the odds.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Island of the Blue Dolphins is a very good book. I love books that have the ocean in them. The book tells the story of a girl named Karona. She is left on the island for 18 years. While she is waiting for a ship to come get her she must build shelter, gather and hunt food, and fight her enemies the wild dogs. I thought this book would be a regular old book with a beggining, middle, and an end. I sure was wrong! Karona even befriended a wild dog! I recomend this book for ages 9 and up. If you are younger than 9, and you like true stories you will enjoy this book.
David_Bremmerton More than 1 year ago
Author Scott O'Dell tells the story of Karana, an Indian girl living alone on the Island of Blue Dolphins. It is a fantastic story of survival as we travel with Karana on her quest to survive, forge for food, clothe herself, and seek shelter on the beautiful island. A very good read. Definitely recommended. Perfect for passing the time.
TexasStarVA More than 1 year ago
My favorite book from childhood, based on the true story of a young American-Indian marooned on a deserted island for 18 years. Her resourcefulness, strength and keen observation of nature make this book a must read! Enjoyable for all ages!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about a Indian Princess who was left behind when the rest of her village left after a terrible tragidy toke thelives of many of the braves (men) inclouding her father the chief. She learn how to survive on her own wether she is rescued from the island is for you to find out. Injoy the book I know I did. Island of The Blue Dolfins is a very good book for teenagers, young adults, and kids. This is a book with no bad language curseing swearing or anything that a parent would not approve of there kid reading, I myself being a
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It is one of the best books ive ever read and I have read a lot of books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To people who say this book is bad STOP IT NOW. Anyhow this book is so great i had to say that
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book. I enjoyed it a lot. Every word I read I became more intrigued into the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whene we read this book in class i was happy whene we got to read it! This book tells a tragic tale of a indian girl who ls stranded on her home island whene her tribe leaves her, and now all she has left is her brother(for a little bit) and the willderness !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everlone should have this book, so get now!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great!I am 10 and I read it shortly after I turned 10. This book is a well written book about a girl stuck on an island.Even though every thing is against her she survives and lives her life. This is also a TRUE story.I extremlly recommend it!!!!! Book Lover Girl!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book ims amazing!! Highly suggested!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ? this book. It is about a girl who gets left on an island alone and must survive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a really fun true story this girl has to survive by herself on a island for 18 years I absoulutely LOVE IT !!!!!! please read it it is totally whorth it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a good read for people who like survival books. I liked it because it had fights and hope. The main character is trying to live on a island by her self. It does not work when bad people come and try to take her. She has to fight wild animals and some of them killed her brother. I give this book 4 stars but the ending was poor. If the ending was a little better it was 5 stars. This book is good for people who like animals and survival stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I WENT SO FAR!IM IN CHAPTER 18!!!!!!!I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. In English we had to write a book review I used this book. Now everyone wants to read it! I love this book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People say she was ten, but the found her when she was like, 56, and they think that her so called brother she went back for was actually her own child. So she was about 28 if i am right. If you dissagree, plz reply to Katniss. YES, THAT IS MY REAL NAME? Katniss Athen Sawyer. K.A.S.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will absalutly love this book the first page I read got my attention right away Good job Scot O'dell
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a kind of a sad. It's about a girl who lives by herself after her dad and brother dies and the ship left her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I saw this book I wasn't intrested,but when I read the book I fell in love with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...That all the tweenie-boppers saying they hate this book spell every other word wrong? Maybe they should spend a little more time reading - having a preschooler's grasp of grammar is only okay if you're a preschooler. Food for thought. Anyway, this book is beautifully written, and will surely sing to your heart. All about growing up and having a will to fight in order to live.
wz12 More than 1 year ago
Each year at Christmas I give the grandkids a book I read growing up. This is one of those books. It is a great read if you are looking for adventure and appreciate the resilience of the human spirit. I would recommend this book to young and old alike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Island of the Blue Dolphins is a great book for both adults and young children. It is a fantastic story to relax and read, or find information. The book puts together an intense, spiritual story of a girl who faces many problems.