Island of the Blue Dolphins has been on my TBR list for a long time. My daughter had enjoyed it so when I saw it was available from my library’s overdrive list, I signed it out and listened to it over a few commutes. As I have mentioned in the past, YA fiction is terrific to listen to in the car. Island of the Blue Dolphins tells the story of Karana, a young girl separated from her family, living alone on an island.
Karana lived through trauma, death and loss yet learned to take care of herself, plan for the winter, protect herself from wild dogs and survive independently. The story blends history with strength, resilience and survival. After reading Hatchet, earlier this spring, Island of the Blue Dolphins is similar yet with a female protagonist. I can see that both of these books would make excellent choices for a grade 4 or 5 student.
After listening to the book, I learned that the tale was based on a true story of Juana Maria or “The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island” who had lived alone for 18 years before being found during a sea otter hunt.
A great book for young girls to read, it helps them contemplate history and is an example of a strong and capable female character. It won a Newberry Award in 1961 and a sequel, Zia, was written in 1976.