What a wondeful book! It was sad and yet inspirational. This young woman has so much inner strength and wisdom and an abundance of hope and optimism. Through tragedy after tragedy she just keeps on going simply for the sake of meeting the next day head-on. Loved it loved it loved it!
Scott O'Dell wrote this book with astonishing brevity. The language is simple, pure and honest. I think the hallmark of great writing is that each word and sentence is necessary, no more no less. An extraordinary book told without sentimentality.
I read this book thinking (once I figured out what the book was about) all about how Robinson Crusoe has inspired an inordinate number of stories - enough to necessitate the label Robinsonnade, and idly wondering why it's such a compelling story and why it gets retold so many times and how it's a different story than "the new person in town" or "on the road."
Then, when I finished, it turns out, this story is basically true! Blew my tiny little mind, that did. And knowing that it happened to a real person, well, that answered my idle wondering. I felt that drop in my stomach that the Robinson Crusoe story can produce, that hollow longing, that sweet sadness that is nonetheless beautiful and joyful. And it really happened.
An excellent read. Karana, the heroine, is so strong, smart and resiliant. A compassionate and wonderful role model for girls (and boys) of all ages, despite her unique and tragic circumstances. In the Author's Note, I learned this book is based on a true story! That made this book even more extraordinary for me. Highly recommended reading for all.
This is a good historical novel of a differnt type than the usual historical fiction. It is based on a true story about a girl who was stranded without her tribe when Vikings came and attacked her village, taking slaves with them. She a strong young girl, very inspiring to read about with your daughters. There is a teachable follow up for "homeschoolers" or "afterschoolers" because you can research the girls history. Try an internet search, and include the term "California".
Currently 5/5 Stars.
Kristyn C. reviewed Island of the Blue Dolphins on
Absolutly love this book. I am a school teacher & we read this every year in class. It is a great book to teach children independance, self confidance, & how to cherish & respect the land. Great story line!
First Line: I remember the day the Aleut ship came to our island.
I'm not quite sure how I missed this one growing up. With a 1960 copyright date, it was certainly around when I was young, but somehow it got lost in the shuffle, and I never read it. I've now corrected that oversight, and I'm glad I did.
In the Pacific Ocean, there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Blue dolphins, sea elephants, birds, otters... wildlife is abundant there. When the strangers come in their red-sailed ship, Karana's father reluctantly gives them permission to fish and to hunt for otters in their waters, but their hunting comes to a bad end. Not long afterward, a ship comes for Karana's people, and they gather their belongings and climb aboard. When Karana sees that her little brother is left behind on the island, she jumps ship and swims back.
Unfortunately Karana soon finds herself all alone on the island. She spends year after year there, but this isn't a tale merely of survival, it's a story of a girl who truly appreciates the natural world surrounding her. My eyes were riveted to the page as she built herself shelter, a canoe, fought off wild dogs, and explored the island. An author's note in the back told me that this story was based on fact, and that explanation made the book even more special.
I can see why this book is a Newbery Medal winner. Island of the Blue Dolphins has a wonderful setting and a character into whom we can all project ourselves. It wasn't just Karana building a shelter or trying to outsmart the wild dogs-- I was, too. When I finished the last page, I had to sit quietly and let the sea breeze calm and the vision of a fish-shaped island sunning itself in the sea quietly fade away.
Just finished reading this book with my 10 year old daughter. We did not want it to end. It is slow at parts and can be meticulous in details, however, we thoroughly enjoyed the book and visited a few websites about San Nicholas Islands, of which the book is about. Great story and wonderful bonding experience.
This is still one of my all time favorite books. I just re-read it for the first time in about 25 years. I first encountered this story when I was in 4th grade. It is easy to understand and very heart-felt. A classic. I would recommend it to any young reader (and even older readers). I remember crying the first time I read it. I didn't cry this time but it still touched me emotionally. Its a beautiful story. I found it fascinating to read up on the history/facts behind this story--made it all the more endearing. I highly recommend it!
In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.
This was an okay book. I read it in the 6th grade and I think it's time for it to go. Here is the summary from the back of the book. . .
"In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.
This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins Year after year she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to katke her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. Hers is not only an unusual adveture fo survival, but also a tale fo natural beauty and personal discovery."
Newbury award winner , the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the island of the Blue Dolphins. Hers is not only an unusual adventrue of survival but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery