LeeVi's Reviews > Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
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's review
Jul 08, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

In her subtle way, Karana narrates a story of an island culture along with many truths of life in this classic young adult novel. Scott O'Dell creates a paradise and a romanticized situation that continually draws readers in, generation after generation. A story of endurance and survival, Karana's story reflects the story of Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea. In every new experience, Karana learns more about her world and more about herself. Part of the artistic quality of this book is the fact that Karana never tells readers what she has learned, she shows them. At one point in the book, Karana refers to Rontu's howl as "the sound of many things that I did not understand." Karana shows great wisdom even in the things she does not understand. Because of the removed way she tells her own story, the reader gains an even stronger sense that something very important and extraordinary has occurred. Young adult readers can find an escape from their the difficulties of their own world when they travel to Karana's world. Her inner strength continues to be a source of fascination and inspiration. Centering this story on a native island culture, O'Dell preserves many customs and mannerisms of these people through Karana. Karana, in turn, gives them to us so that we can preserve them in our minds

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