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Island of the Blue Dolphins | [Scott O'Dell]

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins is the remarkable story of a strange and beautiful Indian girl who lives a serene and courageous life as the solitary survivor on an island off the California coast. Left behind when the rest of her tribe fled, she waits, year after year, for a ship to come for her. She fights for her very survival, building a shelter, hunting for food, and making weapons to stave off her enemies, the wild dogs who took her brother.
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Publisher's Summary

Island of the Blue Dolphins is the remarkable story of a strange and beautiful Indian girl who lives a serene and courageous life as the solitary survivor on a rocky island off the California coast. The island looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters frolic in the surf, and sea elephants and birds abound. Once, many Indians lived on the island, too. But when the Russians arrived to prey on the wildlife surrounding the island, a war broke out, and many perished. The few that were left fled the island and sailed to the island of Santa Catalina in the east, but Karana, The Girl with the Long Black Hair, and Ramo, her brother, were left behind.

Year after year, Karana waited for a ship to come for her. But while she waited, she fought for her very survival, building a shelter, hunting for food, making weapons to stave off her enemies, the wild dogs who took her brother. Scott O'Dell's timeless classic about an unusual adventure of survival is also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery that touches everyone who hears Karana's unforgettable story.

©1960 Scott O'Dell; (P)1995 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, a Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 1961

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (286 )
5 star
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4.4 (136 )
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Story
4.0 (133 )
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Performance
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  •  
    02-21-09
    02-21-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best audio book I've listened too"

    This is my all time favorite. The narrator is perfect for this enchanting story. Our whole family loved it -- children and adults.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan East Boothbay, ME, USA 04-18-04
    Susan East Boothbay, ME, USA 04-18-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hauntingly beautiful"

    A very well written and exceptionally well read story. The theme of being alone, an only survivor, is one that is often considered and in this context, which seems very plausable, core feeings are dealt with: fear, loneliness, companionship and joy, making the story close to the reader and possible to identify with her. We didn't want it to end but so it had to be... It's a great listen!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri O. Johnson 07-23-09

    Terri

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rich in cultural details and extremely well read."

    I believe this will be a longtime favorite for me and my girls, ages 9,7,and 4. We all love a theme which combines history, culture, and a unique story line. This has it all. The narrators voice (likely a native american) adds to the visualization of the island. Highly recommend it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina newport beach, CA, USA 08-08-08
    Christina newport beach, CA, USA 08-08-08
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    "Beautifully made! :D"

    I've read the book at school, and I bought the audiobook on iTunes after, and I absolutely loved the book. The audiobook, brings the book alive, I absolutley love the person who plays Karana, she did very well :D Super well written, I've still got to say, if you buy it, buy the book or go to the library. I love how O'Dell adds in the Wild dogs. I remember though it saying that they were wolves?? but i guess they were dogs... i think his name was.. Fox Eyes? I don't remember the dogs name. But I cried when he died.

    Amazing. Must buy if you like dogs, stories about girls, pirates (kinda), and if you like stranded island kind of stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher B. Oxford, Mississippi USA 06-28-04
    Christopher B. Oxford, Mississippi USA 06-28-04 Listener Since 2004

    sybotcb

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    "An old classic"

    I read this years ago in elementary school and remember enjoying it so much. I thought I'd pick it up for a trip I was going on since the length was right and I remembered it fondly.

    I enjoyed hearing the story again as I'd forgotten most of the major points and the side plots. I thought that the narration was weak and the music during the dramatic moments was nauseating. I did get over this and it's not so rampent as to ruin the whole experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-01-14
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-01-14 Member Since 2012

    A book can get you out of your house, your town, even out of the country. I'm an avid reader believing reviews help find the good ones.

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    "A Beloved Favorite!"

    This is one of my all time favorite stories. I remembering reading it when I was young. It had such an impression on me I wanted to revisit it 20 years later. It's an adventure story of a 12 year old girl left alone on an island. She deals with loneliness and finds the strength and courage she needs to survive. Tantoo Cardnial was the perfect voice for this story. It's a true classic worthy of the Newbery Medal. A must read/listen for all ages.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teo British Columbia 10-27-14
    Teo British Columbia 10-27-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Read it as a kid, and it still is a good story."
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Short book, able to get through it in one sitting and share it with my children.


    Any additional comments?

    A story for the whole family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daneygurl 08-26-14
    Daneygurl 08-26-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Enjoyed & I think my kids may like it too"
    If you could sum up Island of the Blue Dolphins in three words, what would they be?

    The story is easy to follow and interesting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    the girl / main character


    What about Tantoo Cardinal’s performance did you like?

    yes


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really...it was pretty easy to start and stop without thinking about it.


    Any additional comments?

    The only complaint I have is the cheesy music in the background.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 02-28-14
    Tyler LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 02-28-14
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    "Kids were hooked!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Island of the Blue Dolphins to be better than the print version?

    Both are great.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Nice pacing, simple to follow, unfolds well and gets your kids to slow down and listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Molino, Florida, United States 05-17-13
    William Molino, Florida, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2011

    Retired aircraft systems engineer. Teach math (trig and calculus) part time at the local college. Love aircraft, reading, and horses. BS from New Mexico State, MS from Ohio State.

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    "Great book for children very poor reader."

    The reader is very dry and reads in a very monotone voice. It should be like a story being told rather than a book being read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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