The Island of the Blue Dolphins

March 6, 2012

The Island of the Blue Dolphins


By Scott O’Dell

Reviewed by Carlton

5 out of 5 Stars

Meet Karana, a 12 year-old girl, indigenous to the “Island of the Blue Dolphins”.  She is the son of Chief Chowig, the chief of the village of Ghalas-at, and the younger sister of Ulape, and the older sister to Ramo. Life on their island was great. They ate the fish, and other animals found on or around the island, and lived in their tiny village, with little involvement in the “civilized world”.  Life was good on the island until one day, a huge ship was seen off of the horizon.  The ship belonged to the Aleuts, Russians who came to their island to hunt the sea otter, which were plentiful around the island.

The Aleuts, offered to pay the natives in trade, and after their hunting trip, they began to move the sea otter pelts off the island, and Karana’s tribe is afraid that the Aleuts are going to leave without paying them.  The men rush to the shore to demand their payment and after intense negotiations, a skirmish breaks out that kills most of the native men. Karana’s father was killed during the skirmish, and their tribe left without a chief.

Their new chief Kimki, decides to set out in a canoe for a faraway land, to set up a place for them and then return. A while after Chief Kimki embarks on his journey; a huge ship (one that looks like the Aleuts’ ship) appears on the horizon. The natives are in a panic! What if the Aleuts return? To prepare for this they have stashed canoes, food, and water. They run to their canoes, and wait for word on the ship. A lookout then tells them that it is not an Aleut ship.

The ship belongs to white men, sent by Chief Kimki to take the natives to the land he had set off for. The white men anchor their ship, and a storm makes them have to leave earlier than expected, and they must get to the boats to get off of the island. After Ramo forgets his fishing spear, and runs back to the village to get it, and Karana is already on the rowboat, when she finds out of her brother’s stupid decision, she jumps into the water and swims back to shore. When walking back to the village, she hears growling and sees that the wild dogs that roam the island have killed her brother, Ramo.  With everyone gone, and her brother dead, she now faces a decision to stay on the island, or set off in a canoe to go to the island where her people are.

Scott O’Dell does a great job writing this book! I love the fact that this is a true story. I also think that this book is so easy to read, and very well written, and the things such a young girl can accomplish are extraordinary. I like that the genre is Adventure, because adventure stories are very easy to read, and very action packed. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like a good adventure story. I also liked the fact that there is an Author’s Note at the end of the book that says a lot about the story, and the girl. I highly recommend this book.

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