Ashley Yes, Scott O'dell visited many islands before writing books and he talked to a native girl whose story was made into this book. Of course he changed some and added many details for the most part this is based on a true story.
Jo There is an author's note at the back explaining that. Scott O'Dell took the few facts they knew about what Dawn explained and wrote the story based on them, but the rest is not true.
Dawn Sailors did find a single native girl on San Nicolas Island (That's its real name) in 1853. That was 18 years after her people had fled the island for the mainland. Nobody spoke her language, so very little was learned about her actual life on the island. Using signs and gestures, she was able to communicate that her brother had been killed by wild dogs. That was about all they learned from her. Her body was unused to the new environment and foods. She died seven weeks after her arrival. The book "Island of the Blue Dolphins" is mostly fictional, but its premise is based on the true, however incomplete, story of The Lonely Woman.