Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Book Reviews: Island of the Blue Dolphins

By Scott O’Dell
Reviewed by Aazan Ahmad, age 14, Seoul
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company 1960 (renewed 1988)
Recommended for ages 9 and up


One of the worst things that can happen to someone is being stranded on an island, all by themselves. That’s what happened to a twelve year old girl named Karana, from the novel Island of the Blue Dolphins. The novel describes why she got stranded and how she tried to overcome the feeling of loneliness.

Karana is a Native-American girl, who lives on an island named San Nicholas, which is off the coast of California. She was living peacefully along with her tribe in the village called “Ghalas-at.” Then, the white men came to relocate them to another place. When the day of departure came, Karana couldn’t find her little brother anywhere on the ship. Then, when she realized that her brother was still on the island, she jumped off the ship. She swam back to be with her brother.

The problem was that the ship didn’t stop to bring them aboard, but kept on sailing. She knew that the ship would return for them. Another problem happened a few days later with her brother, causing her to be all alone.

From reading this novel I learned that making the best of any situation is very crucial to surviving. When challenged with adversity including wild dogs, she didn’t throw herself a pity party, but swore revenge on the dogs. She even made friends with one of the wild dogs and other animals. She didn’t become idle, but made use of her time very wisely. I recommend this book.