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Island of the Blue Dolphins

(Island of the Blue Dolphins #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  291,665 ratings  ·  8,369 reviews
An alternate cover edition can be found here

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
...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published October 1st 1971 by Yearling Books (first published September 9th 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)

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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 ·  291,665 ratings  ·  8,369 reviews


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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
Julie
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
When my defiant preteen daughter stands before me in great protest to any one of my many actions or words, she often resembles Disney's Pocahontas. She has tan skin and black hair that touches her waist and dark eyes that are kept busy with a vigilant observance of the world's injustices (and her mother's shortcomings). If she's not on horseback, then she's standing before you, holding a cat or a small rodent or a dog. (Or a strange, stuffed chinchilla).

So, when this middle child of mine receive
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Luffy
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was only when I finished reading the book did I get to know that it was based on a true story. The sequel might be worth reading too.

Such tragedy followed by sweet tales worthy of Mowgli, but what indubitably would have been a life of work and loneliness. I thought that since the beginning the author wanted to share his story with people of all ages, and it shows.

Karana was a transparent character, by which I mean we know all her thoughts. Yet we don't know her reasons for her acts of mercy t
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Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
★★☆☆☆½

If this book just so happens to be one of your childhood favorites, and you notice my rating here, you may be asking yourself, “Why must I forever be soiling all the things you hold dear?” Ah, that’s a good question and one that I often ponder myself. But, in fairness, I didn’t actually hate this story. According to the GR rating, two and a half stars means it was slightly better than “okay,” but I can’t quite say that I “liked it.” How about I just say it was underwhelming and leave it at
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Jason Koivu
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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Patricia (theinfophile)
Aug 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Christina
Feb 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wanda
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
***Wanda’s Summer Carnival of Children’s Literature***

Well, this was a blast from the past! I remember reading this (probably several times) during grade 5 or 6, maybe both. Funny what I remember from those childhood readings—my take away from it was that girls could do whatever they needed to and just as well as anyone else.

Looking at it now through adult eyes, I see a lot more of what the author was trying to do. His wildlife conservation message is “thump you on the head” obvious to me now. I
...more
Kimberly Dawn
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful, true survival story of a resilient young girl who was stranded alone on an island for 18 years. Karana’s remarkable story is not to be missed. A story that is as enjoyable for adults as it is for older children!
Ashley Marie
You know a book will stay with you forever when you reread it after probably 20 years and still hear your elementary school librarian's voice in your head as you read it.
da AL
A beautifully told historical account of a strong Native American girl. Audiobook version does it justice.
Manybooks
Island of the the Blue Dolphins: The Complete Reader's Edition (Edited by Sara L. Schwebel)

Please note that for a first time perusal of Scott O'Dell's Newbery Award Winning Island of the Blue Dolphins (and this especially for children and/or teenagers), Island of the the Blue Dolphins: The Complete Reader's Edition should perhaps be considered rather too academically dense and advanced (although of course, if a child reader were to skip all of the supplemental inclusions, such as editor Sara L.
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stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Chantal
I wanted to read this book for a while now, but I never had the opportunity because of time constraints. I also didn't know this was based on a real story in history. The book was very easy to read, I enjoyed it. It was at times slow and predictable, but it was an okay read for all ages. Don't expect a super book, but I would read it again, so there for it gets 3 points



This book is in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up challenge I am doing.
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Abby
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faith M ✨
This was the first book that I ever really loved. I first read it when I was about 10 or 11, and I fell in love with Scott O'Dell's writing, getting my hands on any of his books that I could find at my elementary school library. It really made me into a reader. But I hadn't read it in about a decade, and I was curious how well it would hold up to my adult mind.

IT WAS EVEN BETTER!!!

I originally rated this 4 stars, rather arbitrarily, but this reread proved that this is truly an amazing piece of h
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pages for breakfast 📚☕️ (formerly Readage)
Can I be honest? I read this back in school, probably in 5th or 6th grade. (At least I think I did.) I just finished it at the age of 29 and I found myself fighting to get through it. When I started it in June, I was excited but I couldn't keep up the enthusiasm past a few chapters. It was incredibly boring. It just plodded along and didn't get better. How do middle grade children get through this book? I don't think it's a classic because it truly failed to engage me. The 2 stars are for the re ...more
Tatevik Najaryan
Classic children's, coming of age books are becoming one of my favorite genres. This is exactly what a book for children should look like - an interesting, deep, and meaningful storyline full of adventures.
I just now caught myself thinking that even though this book has few dialogues, which was important for me when I was a teen, it was easy to follow and I guess I would enjoy it the same way I enjoyed it now. I will try to find the second book in the series to follow the story of Karana.
Corinne Edwards
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
Kathryn Cantrell
Aug 03, 2007 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
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¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪
“More than anything, it was the blue dolphins that took me back home.”



I remember reading this book as a mandatory read in school, but I really thought it was longer ahah! Isn't it crazy how the simple fact that we have to do something makes us enjoy it 100 times less? Reading this book, I see it has everything I would enjoy as a child: the setting, the animals, the wilderness... I read so many books like this as a child and loved them, and yet I remember not particularly liking this one. Oh, we
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Hellokitty
Oct 06, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Alaina
Second time read and review.

I'm not surprised that my feelings didn't necessarily change after diving into this book again. Just like last time, the pacing was what killed it for me. Or maybe it's because I was doing other things while listening that it just felt like the book was dragging while my life wasn't. Not sure if that even makes sense though..

Karana is still somewhat boring to me. Even if all her friends on this island were a bit more interesting than her. I just think living on an isl
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Amber
Apr 14, 2015 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.
Katie Gallagher
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this review and others on my blog!

I’ve been slowly working my way through a pile of middle-grade and lower YA literature, all of which have held a special place in my heart at some point in time. Richard Peck, E. Nesbit, Louis Sachar, Madeline L’Engle–these were the authors I grew up with, and even just a glimpse at the covers of these books bring back fuzzy, happy memories, even though I have close to no recollection about their actual contents. Reading these older books feels akin to taki
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Bubbles74454
May 10, 2012 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
...more
The Dusty Jacket
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery-winners
Based on the true story of a Nicoleño woman who survived alone on San Nicolas Island for 18 years, Island of the Blue Dolphins is about 12-year old Karana who is left alone on an island when the ship relocating her village abandons her. Karana must rely on what she knows and what she remembers to ensure her survival. Every day she scours the water looking for a sail—white will reunite her with her people; red will bring the despised Aleut otter hunters. In a place where time is measured by the p ...more
Melanie
Jun 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-i-own
3.5. I had not read this as a child so it was all new to me. I really enjoyed this story. It's very fascinating that this woman lived alone on an island for 18 years. Obviously the author knew nothing of her daily living but he did a wonderful job creating her life. Living with all of the luxuries available to us today makes it so clear to me how "easy" my life is. I would not probably not survive a year let alone 18.
Pamela
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
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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

Other books in the series

Island of the Blue Dolphins (2 books)
  • Zia (Island of the Blue Dolphins, #2)

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“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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“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.” 34 likes
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