Island of the Blue Dolphins
Based on a true story.
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Why read it?
6 authors picked Island of the Blue Dolphins as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This winner of the Newbury Medal is another book that gave me the courage to write a book that includes my own invented tribe. The author, Scott O'Dell, also spent his early years in Southern Calif. as did I and much of the described island flora and fauna is reminiscent of Santa Catalina Island. After hunting for otters Karina's tribe misses the first boat that was to take them back to the mainland. When she misses the second one because of an act of bravery, she is fated to survive many years alone which she does with unimaginable courage…
Island of the Blue Dolphins is shelved in the children's books Hall of Fame for a reason. Based on a true story, this book is about twelve-year-old Karana, who is stranded on an island and must learn to survive—for years. I loved reading about how Karana learns to find food and make shelter and how she becomes in tune with nature and the sea. What really hits home is that this is a story about forgiveness, a powerful theme that is also the focus of my own book.
Karana is a twelve-year-old girl when she leaps from a ship that has kidnapped her from the only home she has ever known, the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Back on the island, she is alone, and must fend for herself to survive. This is the classic, Newbery-winning girls’ survival tale, and it packs a punch. Karana’s skills in fishing, hunting, and shelter-building are incredible, but her mental fortitude and bravery are her superpowers, and they inspire all who read about them. Author Scot O’Dell’s factual and plain prose are poetically understated and this—along with the fact that it’s based…
This is the classic adventure/survival story—like Robinson Crusoe or The Swiss Family Robinson—but with a girl doing the adventuring. Karana, a native girl left behind when her tribe leaves their island, must take on traditionally male roles and skills in order to survive, showing that many of “gender specific” activities are merely cultural constructs and that girls are just as smart and resourceful and capable as men. The tendency of male ambition to lead to greed, subjugation, and destruction is unflinchingly shown, serving as a warning to young readers to keep such inclinations in check. It is also a powerful…
This gem of historical fiction that won the Newbery Medal sixty years ago tells the story of a Native American girl who survived alone on an island for eighteen years (St. Nicholas Island, 75 miles off the coast of California). O’Dell focuses on the year that Karana is twelve, who tells her own story in unadorned, affecting prose.
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