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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.

Critic Reviews

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 1961

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    715
  • 4 Stars
    236
  • 3 Stars
    86
  • 2 Stars
    30
  • 1 Stars
    26

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    511
  • 4 Stars
    182
  • 3 Stars
    68
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    23

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    576
  • 4 Stars
    157
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    12
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Childhood favorite

I could listen to this story Everyday. Absolutely love it. very Heartfull and sad. enjoy the adventures and just everything about this story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • East Boothbay, ME, USA
  • 04-18-04

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!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting

Wonderful story and the reader made it real. I read this when I was in grade school and it was even more magical now.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The story


I love this book it was amazing. I rate it all stars because this book makes me fill I'm in the book like, I know how she fills.this is a great book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

One of the classics

Fantastic book. I remember reading it as a child and loving it. I liked the narrator, but at times some of the music and sound effects got distracting, hence 4 stars instead of 5.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful