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Island of the Blue Dolphins (Puffin Books) Paperback – 29 Aug 1996


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Island of the Blue Dolphins (Puffin Books) + My Side of the Mountain (Puffin Modern Classics) + Number the Stars (Essential Modern Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; New Impression edition (29 Aug. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140302689
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140302684
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.9 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Scott O'Dell won the Newbery Medal for Island of the Blue Dolphins in 1961, and in 1976 the Children's Literature Association named this riveting story one of the 10 best American children's books of the past 200 years. O'Dell was inspired by the real-life story of a 12-year-old American Indian girl, Karana. The author based his book on the life of this remarkable young woman who, during the evacuation of Ghalas-at (an island off the coast of California), jumped ship to stay with her young brother who had been abandoned on the island. He died shortly thereafter, and Karana fended for herself on the island for 18 years.

O'Dell tells the miraculous story of how Karana forages on land and in the ocean, clothes herself (in a green-cormorant skirt and an otter cape on special occasions), and secures shelter. Perhaps even more startlingly, she finds strength and serenity living alone on the island. This beautiful edition of Island of the Blue Dolphins is enriched with 12 full-page watercolour paintings by Ted Lewin, illustrator of more than 100 children's books, including Ali, Child of the Desert. A gripping story of battling wild dogs and sea elephants, this simply told, suspenseful tale of survival is also an uplifting adventure of the spirit.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Freer on 27 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
My son is 9 years old and typically does not enjoy reading - I would say that he has an average reading ability for his age. We have tried many books to try to get him reading of his own accord, but had mediocre results. We got this book through an Amazon recommendation and when it arrived really didn't hold out much hope that he would get to grips with it. But we persevered and encouraged him to read a chapter to me or his Dad at bedtime each night and we did help him out with some words that he'd never encountered before (e.g., abalone, Aleuts to name but a few) in the first couple of chapters. It's also written in a more old-fashioned style (don't let that put you off though) - we encouraged him to ask questions about what stuff meant and he has done that repeatedly. We are more than half way through the book now and we can already see the improvement in his reading, making sentences more interesting to listen to by emphasis and use of the punctuation. The first couple of nights he groaned about having to read the book, but then it got him and he's pestered us ever since to listen to him read! How fabulous is that?! We're now more than half way through and he said last night that he didn't want to finish the book because he'd miss reading it! Then, as he was reading, I could hear the emotion in his voice at one point and was surprised to see tears running down his face - he was totally submerged in the story and feeling the emotion of the story - I explained to him that he had nothing to feel embarrassed about as I firmly believe that to feel the story so vividly is the mark of a truly great book and a great author. He's turned a real corner and this is the book that has done it - I just hope to find another book that excites him as much as this one has!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Dec. 1997
Format: Audio Cassette
I read this book at age 11 and am now close to the forty mark but when girlfriends asked me cynically whether any book had ever had the power to change my life. I instantly said yes, and that book was Island of the Blue Dolphins! It is a book that not only features a girl as a strong character but it celebrates her resoursefullness, humanity, earth -conscious ingenuity, and hard work. She can create what she needs with her own two hands and think problems through to a solution. I believe she was the first real, non-comic, heroine I had ever read of and in my mind she is still the best!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judge Tabor on 11 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
When my fourth grade granddaughter switched schools, we realized she was far behind in math. My husband decided to tutor her in math and I agreed to assist her with reading - no problem there since I read a minimum of one or two books nearly every single day.

I chose this book because it had lots of favorable reviews and was free on KU. Had it been left up to me, I would have finished this book in an hour or so. But, although my granddaughter is a good little reader, and stumbles over few of the words with the exception of the ones in the Indian language, she goes much slower.

So, we've been reading for 20 minutes each evening and honestly, when we came to some of the sad parts, I thought perhaps she might want to switch books. She had one word for me - "Fake!" I thought, okay - she knows this isn't a true story and she can handle it. I suppose since I'm inclined to enter deeply into my stories, the sad parts troubled me more than they troubled her. Not sure which one of us has the right perspective.

**Spoilerish**

There are many reviews on this book so I doubt mine will ever be read. I would like to say that even as an adult I found this story to be very interesting. It's about a young girl whose name isn't revealed until deep into the story who lives for 18 long years isolated from other humans on an island. She has the companion of Rontu, her faithful dog and eventually one of his offspring. We go through sorrow after sorrow with our young companion. First, her father is killed, then when she and her tribe are being removed to travel to an unknown location on a large ship, she realizes her young brother has been left behind. She jumps off the ship to be with him. However, he dies after being attacked by wild dogs.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "claire123" on 25 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Island of the blue dolphins is based on a true story about a girls struggle for survival when she is stranded on a lonely and deserted island.
Once populated by her and her tribe but after they are killed by Aleuts and the rest of the tribe flee to another island leaving her and her brother Ramo stranded there. After the death of her brother 12 year old Karana must adapt to life on this harsh and dangerous island now populated by many species of animals like wild dogs and sea creatures.
I would definately recommend this book to people over the age of 10 as parts are hard to understand sometimes with the type of language used. This book is definately 10/10 as every chapter unfolds more excitement and adventures.
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By kate mills on 15 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
Island of the blue dolphins is based upon a young girl who is left alone after a war between the uninvited Aleuts and her tribe. Karana is a strong, independent, young woman who learns to survive through her company with animals.
I think that Karana is a very good role model to young girls! she has a positive attitude and is very responsible. she takes on lots of jobs, and she used to help others do theirs before she was left alone. she shows that anybody can survive even if you are going through hard times or even if you are alone. she is incredibly resourceful because she makes her own weapons out of things she finds on the island, and she then tells you what and how she made it.
I would say she was like a mother to her little brother because she helped him with his jobs; she protected him, made sure he ate and was safe. I do feel sorry for her at times because throughout the book she gets lonelier and lonelier, but when she makes friends they end up leaving her.
Scott O'Dell deals with the passing of time in a clever way. He changes a few words here and there. it can change from a couple weeks passed to a couple years passed, and unless you analyse the chapters you don't really notice. he also keeps his writing very simple and doesn't have any soppiness in it. This means that when you look back on the chapters you have to read between the lines to know exactly what the people feel and how things happen.
so overall, if you like a mysterious, heart-moving story, with action and survival then this is the book for you. I would recommend this book for 10 years of age and above because of the style of writing can be hard to understand at times. I have really enjoyed it and i hope you do to!
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