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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 (327 )
5 star
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4.4 (172 )
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4.1 (168 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    kurt 02-21-09
    kurt 02-21-09 Member Since 2006
    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 2009
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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
  •  
    agladkikhmba 04-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book!"

    I have highly enjoyed this novel. However, the reader went a bit fast for me to follow. I recommend this book. This really helped me finish this book for my report on time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianne B. 03-29-15
    Marianne B. 03-29-15
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    "Classic Children's Literature at its best!"
    Would you listen to Island of the Blue Dolphins again? Why?

    Being a fourth grade teacher in California, reading Island of the Blue Dolphins with my class is a tradition. Being able to listen to it on tape and follow along with a book, the children get a lot out of the story. As long as I am a fourth grade teacher, I will be listening to Island of the Blue Dolphins. It is the best of classic children's literature based on California's history.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Island of the Blue Dolphins?

    There are so many memorable moments in the story, but I think the most memorable is when Karana jumps off the boat in stormy seas and swims back to the island to be with her brother who was left behind.


    Have you listened to any of Tantoo Cardinal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not listened to any of Tantoo's other performances, but I have seen her in movies such as Dances with Wolves and Legends of the Fall. Two iconic movies that I have watched more than once, and plan on seeing again!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Stranded on a deserted island for 18 years, a young Indian girl shows us how to survive.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a must read for all Californians, young and old.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bday79 BOSTON! 03-27-15
    Bday79 BOSTON! 03-27-15 Member Since 2013

    bridg

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    "Bedtime story"

    I ordered this from my 10 year old daughter. She loves to listen to stories at bedtime. She absolutely loved this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boycott Gougers 03-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent book."

    At first I got this book for my son, but I enjoyed it as much if more than he did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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