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Island of the Blue Dolphins

(Island of the Blue Dolphins #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  317,774 ratings  ·  9,342 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 o ...more
Kindle Edition, 194 pages
Published February 8th 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers (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 3.86  · 
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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 G ("Doctor, my eyes!"  Offline for a week)
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
...more
Luffy
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Island of the Blue Dolphins (Island of the Blue Dolphins #1), Scott O'Dell

Island of the Blue Dolphins is a 1960 children's novel by American writer Scott O'Dell.

Island of the Blue Dolphins tells the story of a 12-year-old girl named Karana, who is stranded alone for years on an island off the California coast.

It is based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Nicoleño Native American left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island during the 19th century.

The main character is a Nicoleño girl named W
...more
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
...more
Bren fall in love with the sea.
“More than anything, it was the blue dolphins that took me back home.”
― Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins

Sigh. I never read this as a kid. At least I don't think I did.

And I have long had it on my TBR. Survival stories are not usually my thing but I am aware how this beautiful story and I wanted to check it out.

I cannot say with honesty I loved it. I am sure I would have, had I read it as a kid. What I CAN say is I can see why it is considered a classic.

I had heard of Robinson Cruso. And
...more
Jason Koivu
Feb 29, 2012 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
...more
Debbie
It is my daughter's favorite childhood book (she's 37 now)! A great read-aloud to Grade 3 students; if only I can control my tears! ...more
emma
i hate being outside for prolonged periods of time, and i cannot be alone with my thoughts, and i have no handiness or survival skills, and i sunburn like it's my job, and i don't always love animals (although i do typically like them), but i believe i could flourish in an Island of the Blue Dolphins scenario.

it's just my opinion.

part of a series i'm doing in which i recall books i read a long time ago and call it reviewing
...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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The copy I read is from the 1960s and features a very white-washed version of the Native heroine and a blurb from the New York Times book review that refers to her as "primitive." Oh, history, you racist scamp, you.



I had to read this book for school and thought it would be fun to revisit it as part of my reviewing project. It falls under this branch of children's literature that I think of as "kiddie disaster lit," including titles such
...more
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. ...more
Wanda Pedersen
***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
Brina
My friend’s choice for me for our group’s first quarter book swap. I told her to pick me something short and her selection was a middle grade kids book that I may or may not have read in my youth. Any story that features a Swiss Family Robinson way of life and dolphins as well as a strong female protagonist is going to hold my attention and O’Dell’s masterpiece certainly did just that.

🐬 3.5 stars rounded up
Kimberly Dawn
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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!
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.
...more
stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jean
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Tatevik is on semi hiatus (trying to finish PHD)
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.
...more
etherealfire
Jul 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this when I was around 13 years old. I remember being completely blown away that this book was based on a true story. One of my favorite books of that era and I can't believe that I forgot to document it at GoodReads until I saw the book pop up here. ...more
Christian Nikitas
I had to read this book in school and write a book report about it. I really did enjoy this book at the time. I have not read it in many years, though.
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
✨faith✨trust✨pixiedust✨
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
...more
biblio • bliss
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
Era ➴
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
my friend once dared me to read this in half an hour to prove that I was a speed-reader, but then he had to leave and I never told him that I finished in 33 minutes. Only thing I remember is that there was island and a boat, which isn't exactly a riveting story. ...more
Abby
Jul 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chantal
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
...more
Kathryn Cantrell
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
Chris
May 04, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This is a children's classic written in 1960(which I had never read) and thus not the target audience. Take my rating with a grain of salt as it is from the perspective of an adult reader.
I did enjoy this Robinson Crusoe story with a female protagonist for the middle school set. I can imagine a young girl reading this and being inspired by this wonderful story of survival and enchanted by her relationship with nature and the animals that inhabit the environs. I had been in an emotionally raw p
...more
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
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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.” 36 likes
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