“Island of the Blue Dolphins,” by Scott O’Dell

“Island of the Blue Dolphins,” by Scott O’Dell is a classic young adult novel that is one of my favorite books. In fact, in 1976 the Children’s Literature Associate named “Island of the Blue Dolphins” as one of the top ten best American children’s books of the past two-hundred years.

The story is historical fiction based on the real experience of a young Indian woman who lived alone on an island off the coast of California for 18 years. O’Dell beautifully recreates her as the character Karana, or Girl with the Long Black Hair. When Karana’s tribe leaves the island on an American ship, Karana ends up left behind. She must deal with the island’s wild dogs, which have killed her brother, and also find food to subsist in the desolate spot. The story follows Karana through disasters and difficulties as she lives her solitary life.

“Island of the Blue Dolphins,” though, is no mere survival story like “Robinson Crusoe.” Rather, Karana’s determined courage and her strong spirit give the story a peaceful appeal, and the book’s memorable passages are not mere drama, but deeper and broader in scope. Rather than letting loneliness and terror affect her, Karana endures, serene and strong. Her strong character gives a strong appeal and wonderful tone to "Island of the Blue Dolphins."

As one of my favorite books, “Island of the Blue Dolphins” is a reading opportunity that I would highly recommend to you.

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Inkweaver Review 2008-03-23T13:33:00-05:00

3 replies so far. What are your thoughts?

Catherine said...

I've only just spotted your review of this novel - it was one of my favourites when I was a child (in the UK, too). The idea of living by myself on an island was very appealing, even though the book made it clear how hard Karana found it at times. But for me, it was an inspiring and fascinating story, and it's nice to see a review of it now!

NathanKP said...

Thanks for commenting, Catherine. I've always loved this book, and it was a real pleasure to review it.

Anonymous said...

this was an ok book but not one if my favorites