Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
*Part of the "Reviewing Children's Classics Series".
This "based on a true story" children's novel tells the story of Karana, a young girl left stranded on her island home when her tribe is taken by missionaries to Santa Barbara. It is based on the true story of Juana Maria, a Native American left alone on San Nicolas Island from 1835-1853.
Similar to the survival stories found in Hatchet and Sarah Bishop, we get a glimpse into the fictionalized life of Karana and how she survived on her own. Her adventure begins at the age of 12, and she learns to defend her home from wild animals, hide from the Aleuts who come to hunt otters, hunt for food, and survive without being taught many skills.
The real star of the show is Rontu. In the interest of not spoiling anyone who hasn't read it, I'll just say that I fell in love with him, and tears were shed in his honor. Rontu, I love you and your yellow eyes. If I were stranded on an island alone (and at times that sounds like a slice of heaven, to be honest), I would want Rontu with me.
I love that it is based on a true story, and I love reading about the minutia of her daily life. Great classic, and one that is often required reading in schools. If you haven't read it and like survival novels for kids, you should enjoy.
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