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Island of the Blue Dolphins

First place winner, Belmont Teen Read Week Book Review Contest 2002 Prize: $25 gift certificate for Newbury Comics

Author: Scott O'Dell
Reviewer's Age: Grade 7

In his novel, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell writes about the calm and acceptingness of human nature in the face of unimaginable adversity by describing how Karana managed to survive alone (except for her dog Rontu and her pet birds) on a remote windswept little island for 18 years. It is a really moving story to read, and is near impossible to put down (I read it in about 4 hours). It was almost never dull or predictable, and things often ended out different ways than what the reader expects (judging from my view, as I never asked anybody else. Why on earth would I?) I learned a lot about human nature from this story, such as how Karana hates the wild dogs, but saves their leader's life when she saw him helpless because of her own weapons. The most memorable parts in the story are probably when Karana and Rontu find a cave full of likenesses of her ancestors (Karana's not Rontu's, even though that is pretty obvious), and are stuck there for hours, and the part when she battles a devilfish (octopus) to keep her food, and when Rontu dies... there are too many memorable parts. The whole BOOK is memorable. I personally think that Karana's little brother Ramo is very lifelike and believable, very much like my own annoying sister. I think that the lesson of the story is this: Do not try to change an awful fate. If you are unable to change it, face it and accept it, and it may not end up so terrible after all.