Monday, December 13, 2010

Book review: The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

My summary:
Karana and her tribe live on The Island of the Blue Dolphins, after a tragic incident they decide they want to move to another island. One man sets out to find another island and one day a ship comes to get the rest of the tribe. All tribe members are on board and the ships sets sail, then Karana notices that someone from the tribe is standing alone on the shore. Karana won’t leave the person behind and dives into the water, this proves to be the start of a long and lonely period in Karana’s life.

My thoughts:
To be honest I found the novel to be a bit boring when starting out, but as soon as I adjusted to the pace of the novel (all books cannot be fast paced with a lot of action and romance) I was sucked into the story.

Karana’s story is a story of loneliness and survival and our main character is a strong girl. I wondered how Karana would manage to stay sane, find food and shelter and make it through the year. Karana had to trust her instincts and forget about the way of life for the tribe and their old myths, like the one saying that women couldn’t make weapon because if they did the weapon would let them down in a time of need.

Karana befriends some of the animals on the island in her loneliness and her friendship with the dog called Rontu will touch your heart.

I did not know that The Island of the Blue Dolphins was loosely based on a true story. In fact I didn't find out until I read the author notes at the very back of the book. That broke my heart and made the story even more touching.

The cover:
Very fitting to the story and the dolphins now represent hope to me just as it did to Karana.

My rating of this book:
4 stars out of 5\

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Published originally: 1960
Pages(paperback): 184
Publisher: Yearling
ISBN: 0440439884 (ISBN13: 9780440439882)
Full disclosure: 

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries.  


  1. This was one of my favorite books growing up. Glad you liked it!

  2. I had forgotten how wonderful this book was. I read it when I started blogging as everyone kept telling me it was one of their favourite childhood reads. It simply is a beautiful tale. I had hoped to read more by Scott O'Dell by I haven't got around to it yet. Thanks for bringing his books back to my attention.

  3. I loved this book when I was younger. Thanks for reminding me about it!

  4. I don't know if this book is for me, but I do love dolphins. ;)

  5. I do not like slow and boring beginnings :( But I am so very curious, when this did happen, what happened next, so it has something

  6. I am glad you liked it and that the pace did not bother you later. The fact that this is loosely based on a true story makes it even more appealing!

  7. +JMJ+

    I loved this book as a child. I had no words for the effect it had on me, but I now credit O'Dell's style--at once sparse and lyrical--for casting a magic spell that got me to love a story so unlike my usual Fantasy-rich reads.

    Did you know there is a sequel? =) I think the title is Zia.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)