“Many of our tribe went to the cliff each night to count the number killed during the day. They counted the dead otter and thought of the beads and other things that each pelt meant. But I never went to the cove and whenever I saw the hunters with their long spears skimming over the water, I was angry, for these animals were my friends. It was fun to see them playing or sunning themselves among the kelp. It more fun than the thought of beads to wear around my neck.” - Scott O'Dell - Island of the Blue Dolphins
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell is based on the true story of a girl who gets stranded for 18 years on an island off the California coast in the 19th century. It's the story of Karana, a young girl that accidentally gets left behind when her tribe leaves the island.
To be honest, there isn't too much happening in this novel. The novel just simply tells the story of Karana's every day life on the island. Fishing, collecting food, building shelter and making weapons to defend herself against the wild dogs that circle her camp during the night. But I have to say that I still truly enjoyed this book. If I had children this is the kind of book I would love to read to them! The novel really portrays the life on the island in a beautiful way, Karana's love and respect for her surroundings and how she befriends many of the animals on the island. One of the wild dogs that she fears in the beginning of the story later becomes her friend and companion and their relationship makes a nice addition to the story (I'm usually not that touchy-feely, but I can't help it, you got to love a beautifully written friendship between a human and a dog). The novel is also really well-written and I can hear that it's Karana's voice that tells us her own story. Sure, the language can sometimes be a bit juvenile, but let's face it, it's a children's book written from a young girls perspective.
I think this is a beautiful children's novel and it makes me want to live alone on an island for 18 years so I can befriend a wild dog and a few otters. If you have children (probably around the age of 8-11) you need to read the Island of the Blue Dolphins to them, because this is a story that you yourself will enjoy as much as your kids will. If you don't have kids? Don't worry, you can still read it and truly enjoy it! I just wish I would have know about this book when I was a kid, I would have probably given it 5/5 stars. But the 27 years old version of me gives Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell 4/5 stars.
This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.