Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell

This is an old Newbery winner that I remember my brother reading (for school, maybe?) but I'd never read myself. We picked it up at a used book sale last summer and just finished it as our bedtime story. I was surprised to discover in the author's note at the end that it's based on a true story, about The Lost Woman of San Nicolas who was discovered on this island in 1853.

Karana is twelve years old when the ship arrives, carrying Aleuts who are here to hunt otter. When the Ghalas-at tribe argues that the Aleuts are trying to cheat them, the resulting battle wipes out much of the tribe and the rest of them struggle to decide what to do. Through a string of circumstances, Karana ends up on the island alone and has to fend for herself, making tools and weapons to get food and protect herself from the island's wild dogs. It reminded me of "Cast Away," that Tom Hanks movie, except that Karana didn't have a bunch of FedEx packages washing up on shore with treats in them.

It's well-written and thought-provoking, but being stranded on an island isn't necessarily the most exciting and entertaining adventure I can think of. I'm glad we have the book and I'm sure Ridley and Hania will eventually get to read it, too.

Fed to jonathan's brain | May 06, 2008 | Comments (0)


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