*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'dell

Title: Island of the Blue Dolphins
Author: Scott O'dell

Have I Read it Before: Yes

Anyone who has not yet read Island of the Blue Dolphins is really missing out. Karana has lived on the Island of the Blue Dolphins her entire life and things have been peaceful until the Aleuts come. At first everything is fine between Karana's people and the Aleuts but when the Aleuts try to leave without fulfilling their promise, a battle breaks out that kills most of the men. When they are given the opportunity to leave their island, the women and men that are left jump at the chance. Once on board, Karana realizes that her brother has been left behind. She leaps from the ship and swims back to her brother. If you have read the synopsis of this book, then you know that Karana ends up all alone on the island. The rest of the book is dedicated to how she survives on the island; finding food, making shelter; taming animals and hiding when the Aleuts once again return. At times she is in grave danger, but often the pages are filled with her day to day activities, but because they are different from anything I have ever experienced, I find them fascinating.
I first read this book when I was in middle school, but it is one that I return to often. In fact, I am fairly certain that my love of historical fiction started the first time I read Scott O'dell's work. It is so interesting to read about how Karana finds and prepares her food, how she uses the bones of a whale to build her fence, how she tames wild dogs and makes them into her pets. Even more extraordinary was finding out that the events of this book are based on a real person. This is one of those books that will stick with you after you read it and one that you will likely want to share with others. If you enjoy it, I recommend many of O'dell's other historical fiction as well as Armstrong Sperry's Call it Courage.

Happy Reading!

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