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

4.7 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Age Range: 11 years and up
  • 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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Review

"A haunting and unusual story based on the fact that in the early 1800s an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone on a rocky island far off the coast of California . . . A quiet acceptance of fate characterizes her ordeal." School Library Journal, Starred
"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 watercolor 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." Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
As a child, my grade school librarian wore out from me asking to borrow so often. Later, as a private tutor, my students chose this again and again. "Island of the Blue Dolphins" lives up to its reputation as one of the greatest children's book ever.

Libraries are good for borrowing books, but some books should be on the shelf of any young reader. Scott O'Dell's magnificent "Island of the Blue Dolphins" is just that. Save your librarian some grief and buy a copy.

"The Island of the Blue Dolphins" is the story of a foolish young girl who missed the boat when the island was being evacuated. Far from it. Karana was on the boat. Her playful little brother, Ramo, wasn't. He was only 6 years old and could never survive alone. She jumped off and headed to shore to save him. The boat left.

Every little girl or boy has been alone, frightened without a clear way of finding his or her way home. Often, the problem is fixed by turning the next corner, finding out it is the same neighborhood it has always been. In the case of "The Island of the Blue Dolphins," Karana's home never changes. Everyone she knows and loves, however, leaves.

For 18 years Karana took care of herself, and she grows from a preteen child into a woman just entering her 30s. This is that story, filled with adventures similar to "Robinson Crusoe," another true story set to fiction. Fans of "Swiss Family Robinson," will likewise enjoy this.

Karana's ingenuity to survive is surpassed by her tenacity and hope. Weathering hard circumstances, such wild dogs, storms and the constant need to find fresh food and good water. She uses what she learned from her parents and other villagers before the left, and what she learns by trial an error.
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