The Island of the Blue Dolphins starts when a group of people called the Aleuts come to the island that is Karana's home to hunt sea otter. When the Aleuts don’t want to pay fairly for the otter pelts, they have a battle with the island tribe. Karana’s father, the chief, is killed. A new chief is chosen who goes in a canoe to a place in the east to ask white men to help them. He sends back white men to bring the tribe to the place he has found. When Karana’s little brother, Ramo, misses the boat, Karana jumps off to stay behind with him.
While they are alone on the island, Ramo is killed by the wild dogs. After a while, Karana learns to make weapons and captures the leader of the wild dogs, whom she names Rantu. She also makes friends with birds and a sea otter. She survives on her own for many years, until the white men finally come back and rescue her.
This book was very interesting because you were never quite sure what would happen next. I chose this book to review, even though I had already read it, because I really like the way the book described the animals and the whole environment of the island. It’s easy to imagine what the island was like. I like Karana because she’s brave and even though she did what she had to in order to survive, she still took care of how she looked and made herself nice clothes to wear in case the people came back for her. I thought it was really interesting how she could make friends with so many different animals, so she wouldn’t feel so lonely.
This is the 50th anniversary edition of this book, which contains a new introduction by Lois Lowry. The introduction told the few facts that were really known about the woman Scott O’Dell based Karana’s story on. Ms. Lowry also uses parts of the book as she tells us why she admired it so much. If you’ve never read The Island of the Blue Dolphins and you like survival stories or animal stories, this is a good one to read.
Reviewer Age: 11, Lake City, IA USA