Island of the Blue Dolphins: L-I-T Guide
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Island of the Blue Dolphins: L-I-T Guide (Island of the Blue Dolphins #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  175,769 ratings  ·  4,932 reviews
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 t...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published December 1st 1993 by Educational Impressions (first published 1960)
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karen
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
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...more
Christina
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stephanie
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Hellokitty
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
Bennet
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...more
Abby
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean
Dec 14, 2009 Jean rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Patricia
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.
Kathryn Cantrell
Aug 03, 2007 Kathryn Cantrell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Corinne
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...more
Anthony Paterra
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...more
Readerx
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...more
Sophia
I think this is one of the worst books that I have ever read in school. Now I had to read it in 3rd grade when I didn't have to analyze it, but this is what I got out of it:
-Girl is on an island.With her tribe.
-She must leave on boat because of the other tribe.
-Brother is left behind. Goes to get him.
-Brother dies.
-The boat leaves without her.
-Sadness
-For the rest of the book (and by the way that fist part is only about three chapters)she talks to the birds, otters, the sky, the wolves, etc.
-Aft...more
Stephen
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...more
Bubbles74454
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...more
Linda
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 . . .
Nicole Marie
Island of the Blue Dolphins is one of my favorites. I first read it all the way back in fourth grade. Back then, I never really read these types of books but as soon as we read it in class, I couldn't stop. After we finished our unit on the book, I had to read the sequel, Zia.

This story teaches us about living it up smart on our own and to make the best of bad moments. The Island of the Blue Dolphins is about a girl named Karana, who is left behind by her tribe on an island because she did not w...more
gummy bear ( Brianna S)
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lucy by the sea
You know how kids avoid anything their parents tell them they will like? Well, I should have listened to my Mum. She was always trying to push brave feminist stories on me (probly cos I was (am) a big lazy wuss).

I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins. It is the story of a young woman living completely alone on an island. The loneliness underlies the adventure and although a lot happens the general feel is quite slow and reflective. Kindof sad but really empowering.

I will for sure be pushing this o...more
Carmel bear*quiana*
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Sheila
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...more
Loren
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jess
This is the story of native girl who survives alone on an island off the coast of California for 18 years. All the people in her village left on the white man's boat with hopes for a better future, but Karana is left behind. She makes a home for herself, tools and weapons, maintaining a water supply, hunting for her food and gathering plants to use as medicine. She's a veritable badass survivor. For many years, she thinks someone will come back for her, and the book is filled with this aching, h...more
Laura
I remember loving this book as a child but could remember very little about the plot except that it involved a girl on an island. Rereading this kids' classic, I was surprised to learn that the story was based on a real-life girl who lived alone on an island for 18 years. Goodness!
While the story is good, it didn't resonate with me as much as it did when I was in elementary school. At that time, the idea of a female child being self-sufficient on an island was very appealing and exciting; while...more
A
read this for the first time before fifth grade.
this book was like all my daydreams. she was strong...she lived on her own, faught against dogs and survived. even though it's probably not meant to be, i consider this book to being my first women's empowerment book. :) it definitely taught me the strength of the female body. an amazing story that i didn't want to end. by the end of the book i was certain that if i ever got stranded on an island, i'd survive. ((probably not, but hey, optimisim is...more
Amy
When I visit my parents, I like to hang out with the bookshelves that hold all the books my sisters and I read when we were young. Somehow I missed this book the first time around. I've been reading it at night this week before I go to sleep, giving myself gifts to dream about: so many unbelievably great details--how otters play, how to make a skirt out of cormorant feathers, how to make friends with the wild dogs who killed your baby brother... It's charming and unsentimental and the prose is q...more
oriana
Oh! Oh my god, I read this in like 3rd grade and it was devastating. It completely destroyed my little mind and broke my tiny heart.

I might be completely wrong here, but I remember the plot was that this girl and her brother are the only survivers of a shipwreck and they're just staggering around on this island, in shock and horror and misery, starving and alone, and then I think her brother dies! Jesus! Why would they make eight-year-olds read that??
Amanda
This book really disturbed me. I read it when I was a young teenager and the idea of being stranded on an inhospitable island for a year by myself was, well, disturbing. And I never fully understood the relationship between the girl and the wolf. Perhaps I'll read it again now that I'm a self-sufficient adult who wouldn't mind a little peace and quiet for a little while...
Lisa Vegan
Jul 07, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls & women & anyone who isn't overly sensitive
Although this was a survival story of a self-sufficient girl, while I was reading it and in memory, I remember I felt incredibly lonely for her. I felt so lonely and sad that I was not able to truly enjoy the story. I liked it but couldn’t love it. Maybe that’s a good recommendation for how the story was so beautifully told, but I can’t give it more than 3 stars.
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Did you like this? 91 241 6 hours, 28 min ago  
if you were in karanas place 12 81 Mar 13, 2014 06:33AM  
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Karana's cave? 3 34 Jan 26, 2013 07:01PM  
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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.” 17 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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