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Island of the Blue Dolphins Audio CD – CD, May 10, 2005
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
There are no trees on the island except the small ones stunted by the
wind. When a log came ashore, as happened once in a long time, it was
always carried to the village and worked on where a chance wave could
not wash it away. That the men were sent to hollow out the log in the
cove, and to sleep beside it during the night, meant that they were there
to watch the Aleuts, to give the alarm should Captain Orlov try to sail
off without paying us for the otter skins.
Everyone was afraid he might, so besides the men in the cove who watch
the Aleut ship, others kept watch on the camp.
Every hour someone brought news. Ulape said that the Aleut woman spent
a whole afternoon cleaning her skin aprons, which she had not done before
while she had been there. Early one morning, Ramo said he had just seen
Captain Orlov carefully trimming his beard so that it looked the way it
did when he first came. The Aleuts who sharpened the log spears stopped
this work and gave all their time to skinning the otter which were brought
in at dusk.
We in the village of Ghalas-at knew that Captain Orlov and his hunters
were getting ready to leave the island. Would he pay us for the otter
he had slain or would he try to sneak away in the night? Would our men
have to fight for our rightful share?
These questions everyone asked while the Aleuts went about their preparations
-- everyone except my father, who said nothing, but each night worked
on the new spear he was making.
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I really think I am the kind of strong, independent woman I am because I grew up reading books like this. I have a niece now and I've already got a list of books I want her to read when she's older. This was one of the first I added to the list.
This is an excellent book for children in fourth through eighth grades. Girls will love the descriptions of the self-made clothing and jewelry that she wore. Examples of these garments and the jewelry are or were on exhibit in the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles
Book is paperback and easy to read. Fast shipping.
Island of the Blue Dolphins is a cult classic. I wish they'd make it into a movie.
Top international reviews
What follows is the tale of Karana’s life fending for herself on a deserted island. There are friendships and fights, hardships and successes. She overcomes her superstitions and her fears, and shows her resourcefulness and patience.
The tale is beautifully written, and whilst not paying too much attention to detail, I felt that there are enough hints for anyone with the misfortune to be stranded on a desert island to make the best of their opportunities. I expect these days it is read in schools with plenty of additional material for children to try their hand at crafting some of the items Karana makes, although perhaps substituting something more mundane for cormorant feathers or elephant seal tusks. I might like to try mapping the island or drawing the view of Coral Cove.
The story is based on a legend that appears to have substance, of a girl stranded on an island to the west of California, who was eventually rescued and brought to Santa Monica to live out her days. I’m not sure whether that is important, but I do know that it is an enchanting tale in the best of senses, and one that will spur many readers to imagine themselves in Karana’s footprints when they next go paddling around rock pools or exploring sea-caves by canoe.