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Island of the Blue Dolphins

By Scott O’Dell

The Island of the Blue Dolphins is a historical fiction novel, based on a true story about a girl named Karana, who was stuck living in isolation for 18 years. In the story, Karana lives on an island with her family, and the rest of the Ghalas-at people. They all live in peace until the Aleut people arrive and take their resources, and all the Ghalas-at people are forced to leave the island. They accidentally leave Karana behind, where she is to fend for herself.

The progression of this story’s plot was unlike many stories I’ve read before. It started as a simple story about a girl’s family and tribe life on San Nicolas Island and moved into a story about how a girl lived in isolation for so many years. Along with the progression of the plot came character development. Karana knew how to live her life with what she had, but this came into play when she was stranded.

I think that the Island of the Blue Dolphins is a great book because it portrays a way of life. It gives a new aspect to the reader about different lifestyles people have all around the world. Another reason I enjoyed this book was because of the plot twists; just when you thought something came to an end, it opened with a new beginning; it made this book all the more interesting to read and kept the reader hooked.

I would best recommend this book for ages 12+, and the reason for that is that the book has some themes, such as isolation and extreme perseverance. In the story, Karana goes through so much that I couldn’t imagine someone under 12 understanding. Another reason that I recommend this book to a 12+ audience is because of the style of writing. The way the book was worded might be hard for a younger audience to understand the concept.

Overall, I enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who likes to read true stories. This book will keep you reading. Between Karana’s adventures and how she keeps herself company, you won’t want to put the book down!

Reviewed by Danica Kovacevic, 8th grade, NewGate School, Sarasota, Florida