The Island Of The Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell

islandscI love this Newbery winner about a girl stranded for years on an island off the coast of California.  The reading level is considered middle grade, but the book, based on a true story, is a wonderful read for anyone.  Karana’s tribe lives on the Island of the Blue Dolphins.  There is constant conflict with the Aleuts which results in many men from Karana’s tribe being killed.  A ship arrives to take the survivors to the mainland.  Karana, seeing her brother still on shore, jumps overboard to join him.  Her brother is soon killed by wild dogs.  Alone, Karana tries to follow her tribe by canoe but is forced to turn back.  She builds a permanent shelter and befriends one of the dogs – Rontu.  When Rontu dies, Karana is bereft, but takes another dog as a companion, Rontu’s son.  When the Aleuts return, Karana makes friends with a girl from their tribe, but is lonelier than ever when the girl leaves.  She endures many hardships, including an earthquake and a tsunami, before a rescue ship arrives to take her to the mainland.

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