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Island of the Blue Dolphins (Island of the Blue Dolphins #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  229,579 Ratings  ·  6,091 Reviews
librarian's Note: Alternate cover for ISBN 0440439884

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 Ind
Paperback, 184 pages
Published 1976 by Dell Publishing Co., Inc.: A Yearling Book (first published 1960)
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๓คץค- Omg dude, this book is the complete opposite of boring! Its packed with very realistic adventure and its definitely a book you should read. Give it a…moreOmg dude, this book is the complete opposite of boring! Its packed with very realistic adventure and its definitely a book you should read. Give it a try. :)(less)
The Great Empty by Anita MelilloMy Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead GeorgeIsland of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'DellDragonsong by Anne McCaffreyIncident at Hawk's Hill by Allan W. Eckert
YA Survival Stories
3rd out of 34 books — 39 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeBlack Beauty by Anna SewellThe Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler WarnerLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottAre You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Classic Non Fantasy Kids Books
13th out of 98 books — 20 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 12, 2009 karen rated it it was amazing
this may be the best book for kids ever written. it teaches young girls everything they will ever need to know in their resourceful lives: how to build a fence out of whale bones, how to kill giant squids, how to alternately befriend and defend against scary wild dogs, and how to make skirts from cormorant feathers. since i got kicked out of brownies and never got to learn All The Things That Girl Scouts Learn, this book taught me how to wilderness-survive. and now i live in queens. so - not muc ...more
Jason Koivu
Nov 16, 2013 Jason Koivu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Back in the '70s and early '80s teachers liked to make their students cry, and so they forced them to read books like Island of the Blue Dolphins, which is just the kind of good old fashioned heartbreaking stuff to do the trick!

It starts of great this story of a Chumash (local natives to the Santa Barbara, California area) tribe taken by surprise by fur hunters and then taken from their island, accidentally leaving behind a brother and a sister. There is sorrow a'plenty. The tale trots along, ev
Aug 01, 2007 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Might I be bored, annoyed, or disgusted with Scott O'Dell's many works from the viewpoints of young women? If I read them now, sure, I might be.

But I SWORE BY Scott O'Dell when I was 10-12 years old, and I think that's what mattered. The girls in the books spoke to me, and they were written for me then, not for the me that is now.

I will buy his books for my younger cousins, and hope they get the sense of self and adventure that these short novels offer.
Jun 20, 2012 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads, juvenile
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2013 Bennet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-stories
Sometimes to clear my head I go to the children's lit bookshelf in my daughter's bedroom (she is now in college), which was fully stocked long before she arrived because I've been collecting children's books for years, and I select a favorite to reread. Yesterday I selected and read this. It's the 6th or so time I've read it, and this is a cherished edition from my childhood.

It is such a simply but perfectly told story, and I've never lost my sense of awe about this character, a resourceful Gha
The book that I read was," Island Of The Blue Dolphins" this book was great! It is about a girl named Karana, and she is from an indian tribe, she lives on an island called," The Island Of The Blue Dolphins". Her father is the chief of the tribe, she has an older sister and younger brother. One day some people came and battled them, and her father dies. After this some more people come to their island, and try to help them, so the people gather some belongings and get on the ship. Her brother f ...more
Jul 20, 2008 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn Cantrell
Aug 03, 2007 Kathryn Cantrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All children and everyone who remembers this book fondly.
This was the best book in my early elementary years. I remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Hendrickson, reading it to us over the course of a few weeks in serial form. I read it myself in third grade. And now, out of nostalgia (can you be nostaligic for your 8-10 year-old self?), I'm re-reading it. I remembered it as the adventurous, though sad, life of a young girl. Now it seems less about adventure and much more about the heart-breaking trials of a lonely girl, left alone and for dead.

What t
Dec 14, 2009 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wanting to be a kid again
Shelves: favorites
a children's book, this is my all time favorite. based on the true story of a young woman who had to survive alone on an island for more than 20 years. typical me...i love stories about strong women. i promised myself that when i "grew up," i would visit the grave-site of the woman who inspired the book. when i lived in california, i finally made my way to the mission in santa barbara where she was buried. for a moment i was able to flash back to my childhood self looking into the future...and i ...more
This is a book that I read outloud to my two older children, ages 8 and 6. We LOVED IT. Here's my 8 year old daughter's thoughts:

It's about a girl a girl who is left on an island and she has to survive by herself. She makes her own weapons and she makes her own house that she makes with whale ribs for a fence. They used seaweed to tie the whale ribs together. That was my favorite part. I liked the ending, even though there were sad parts.

From my 6 year old:
I liked about how she made weapons. I l
The first half of the book was very slow, almost to the point where I was bored, but I kept reminding myself of the audience for which it was written and pushed forward. Karana's time alone on the island made me feel very sad; I could really identify with her loneliness, especially when she tried to row her canoe to the mainland. Nothing frightens me more than the thought of being alone in a small vessel surrounded by endless miles of water, and I shared the fear which eventually caused her to t ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Huy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: newbery-carnegie
Truyện dựa trên một sự kiện có thật, có nghĩa là có một cô gái đã bị bỏ quên trên một hòn đảo nhỏ giữa đại dương mênh mông suốt 18 năm và không ai biết cô đã sống sót như thế nào.
Dĩ nhiên Scott O'dell có những giả thuyết của riêng mình, và ông đã viết nên một câu chuyện cảm động về một cô gái kiên cường. Cuốn sách này dành cho trẻ em thì quá xá đỉnh, vì không chỉ học được sự dũng cảm, tình yêu, bí quyết sống sót trên hoang đảo mà còn học được bao điều về thiên nhiên tươi đẹp, về những loài động
Jun 18, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amber by: Sandy
When Karana's brother and father die and the rest of her indian tribe go away to another island, she remains on the Island of the Blue Dolphins and has to fend for herself against the wild dogs and other animals. Can she survive? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good read so def check this one out. It is available at your local library and wherever books are sold.
Deborah Markus
Time to catch up on reviewing books I actually read a few months ago!

I haven't read this since I was a child. I didn't get much out of it then. It's a beautiful book, but seemed frighteningly somber to me. Also, I was (and kind of still am) all about dialogue, and the main character, Karana, spends several years completely alone on an island. So I respected this book, but didn't feel any urge to reread it as a kid.

I reread it as an adult because I've been reading James Loewen's Lies My Teacher T
May 10, 2012 Bubbles74454 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm in sixth grade and we read this book in class. A ship comes and takes villagers from the village of Ghalas-at East. But a young girl named Karana gets left behind. Karana waits for the ship to come back. While she does she goes after animals, builds shelter, gets food, whatever she has to do to survive.
The central idea of this story is it takes hard work to survive on an island. Karana goes out everyday at dawn and returns at sunset. That is a very long time to be out and working. She has
Jun 18, 2015 Cherie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
I enjoyed the story very much. I am pretty sure I must have read it in school when I was much younger, but did not remember the story at all. The dog's name, Rontu, did seem familiar. I suspect that one of my daughters read it in grade school.

Imagine being completely alone on an island for 18 years. The story is based on a real person and there was documentation about the time that she lived there all alone, until she was taken to the Mission at Santa Barbara, in California. Mr. O'Dell told a v
Arpit Jain
First, let me clear that 2-star rating is for the story of the Brave girl of San Nicolas (known as the lost girl of San Nicolas), not for this novel.
The story is about a girl, who lived on an island, alone, for 18 years. And this book is about her.

Her story told by the author Scott O'Dell in a very clumsy way. Really the writing is so tedious that I spent 2 weeks to complete it. And now I am disappointed, angry and sad.

A story of a girl, who spent best part of her life (youth) being alone on an
Anthony Paterra
Jan 14, 2008 Anthony Paterra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the novel "Island of the Blue Dolphins", the main character is Karana. She is the daughter of the chief of the tribe that lives on the island, "Island of the Blue Dolphins". She also has an older sister, a mom, and a little brother. Her and the others from the tribe hunt and gather their own food, make their clothing, and build their shelter. They are very independent and are the only people who inhabit the island.
During this novel, the tribe is visited by foreigners who wish to hunt the ot
May 10, 2012 Readerx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Island of the Blue Dolphins is an exciting tale about life alone on an island. This book has won a Newbery Award and is just fun to read. Karana got left behind with her brother. This book teaches a great lesson, and is easy to read. Island of the Blue Dolphins has great details. Scott O'dell "hit the nail on the head with this book! I recommend this book to all.

After Karana and her brother got left behind something happened! Karana Survived on her own by making weapons. She kept pets so she was
Aug 18, 2014 Petergiaquinta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I'm adding a star today having just finished the book with my little grandniece, our read together for the summer.

After we read that last page, she said it was a great book, except she felt sad for Rontu. And she's right on both counts; after all these years, Island of the Blue Dolphins is still an important milestone in one's growth as a life-time reader, maybe even a must-read for young girls, and boyoboy is it sad, especially if you love dogs. And what decent person doesn't love dogs?

When I w
I feel deceived. I was really enjoying this young adult novel, and enjoying the story of the survival of a girl alone on an island off the coast of California, until I finished the book and read in the Author's Note that this book is based on a real woman, who survived all alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island off the coast of southern California from 1835 till she was "rescued" in 1853.

Since the author named her as "The Lost Woman of San Nicolas" I did a search to learn more about this fasci
Nov 14, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fourth grade daughter insisted I read this because she enjoyed it so much, and I can see why. It was a fast read, but the story was engaging. It's based on a true story, and I was inspired by Karana and her resourcefulness. Descriptions of the island and the animals were vivid. Her relationship with the animals - as it evolved - was beautiful. We plan to visit the Southwest Museum in Pasadena to see the real artifacts from the Indian people who did inhabit this island . . .
Apr 19, 2016 midnightfaerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, classics
For my 8-yr old son's school, every year he gets a list of like 20 books he can choose from, and has to read around 4-5 and do a book report on them. I usually make him read them all. (Except evil ones like Old Yeller) This year, I realized there were many I hadn't read, or hadn't read in a very long time, so I'm working my way through them so we can enjoy them together. After he's read them, we plan on having movie nights for those that have movies.

This was the next book from the collection I
Sep 07, 2009 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The "devilfish" seemed a lot scarier before I figured out it was just an octopus or maybe squid. I want a cormorant-feather skirt. I also have a little brother who probably would get killed by a pack of wolves if he was ever stranded on an island.
Kate Matson
One of the key elements for historical fiction authenticity is research. Cohesive blending of facts and fiction along with atmosphere authenticity and delivery are also contributing factors. So it’s no wonder Scott O’Dell won the John Newberry Medal for “Island of the Blue Dolphins.” It’s well-written, brilliantly constructed, atmospheric, eloquently Spartan, fluid, and obviously well-researched. And thinking about the publishing date – 1960 – I’m especially in awe in regards to O’Dell’s researc ...more
Set in the 1800's on an isolated island off the coast of California, I'd once heard this book described as the left coast's answer to Squanto. This book is different though in that it's one girl's tale of losing her people, meeting European explorers and becoming marooned alone on an island for many years. It's a cross between My Side of the Mountain, Robinson Crusoe and Hatchet.

It's a short first person read that draws in the reader and gives one an idea what it really might have been like to l
Carmel bear*quiana*
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gummy bear ( Brianna S)
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non-fiction 1 13 Mar 15, 2016 08:16PM  
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Scott O'Dell (May 23, 1898 – October 16, 1989) was an American children's author who wrote 26 novels for youngsters, along with three adult novels and four nonfiction books. He was most famously the author of the children's novel Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), which won the 1961 Newbery Medal as well as a number of other awards. Other award winning books by O'Dell include The King's Fifth (19 ...more
More about Scott O'Dell...

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“Below me Rontu was running along the cliffs barking at the screaming gulls. Pelicans were chattering as they finished the blue water. But suddenly I thought of Tutok, and the island seemed very quiet.” 24 likes
“After that summer, after being friends with Won-a-nee and her young, I never killed another otter. I had an otter cape for my shoulders, which I used until it wore out, but never again did I make a new one. Nor did I ever kill another cormorant for its beautiful feathers, though they have long, think necks and make ugly sounds when they talk to each other. Nor did I kill seals for their sinews, using instead kelp to bind the things that needed it. Nor did I kill another wild dog, nor did I try to speak another sea elephant.
Ulape would have laughed at me, and other would have laughed, too -- my father most of all. Yet this is the way I felt about the animals who had become my friends and those who were not, bu in time could be. If Ulape and my father had come back and laughed, and all the other had come back and laughed, still I would have felt the same way, for animals and birds are like people, too, though they do no talk the same or do the same things. Without them the earth would be an unhappy place.”
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