O'Dell, S. (1978). Island of the Blue Dolphin . New York: Dell Publishing.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, is a 1961 Newbery Medal Winner.
Karana lives on an island with her tribe in a village called Ghalas-at. After a bloody battle with the Aleuts, who visit the island to hunt otters, the chief decides that the tribe should move somewhere else. On the day that the tribe is leaving, Karana's little brother Ramo gets left behind. When she sees him alone on the island as the boat is beginning to leave, she jumps overboard and swims to shore. The two of them are the only people left on the island and they begin to start taking care of themselves. Ramo later gets killed by a pack of wild dogs, leaving Karana alone to fend for herself. She eventually nurses one of the dogs back to health and befriends him after she wounds him. She names him Rantu. She builds a home for herself, but she misses human companionship. Karana spends eighteen years on the island before another ship comes to take her away.
I really enjoyed this book. Karana tells the story from a first person point of view, so the reader is easily able to connect to her as a character. The book is interesting and easily opens one's imagination. I think most everyone has imagined what it would be like to be stranded on an island alone somewhere. I think that most kids would especially like to read a book about having their own island all to themselves. It was easy for me to connect to this story, because it seems like the perfect adventure, survival story. Karana is resourceful and has a strong survival instinct. She even breaks the laws of her tribe to create weapons for hunting and protection. She presents herself as a strong character who will do what it takes to survive until someone rescues her. I think that she is an admirable character for surviving eighteen years on her own, especially since she was only twelve when the story began.