Twelve-year-old Karana lives on an island in the Pacific. The Aleut people come to her island to hunt sea otter in exchange for goods. Once her village realizes that the Aleuts are not being honest, a battle breaks out and many lives are lost. Most of the people in the tribe die, including Karana’s father, the chief. A new chief takes over and leaves the island for a place he feels will be safer for all of them. Karana and what is left of her tribe are rounded up to travel by boat to their new home. Unfortunately, her brother is trying to get his fishing gear and isn’t ready to leave. The boat cannot wait for him, and Karana jumps off to be with her brother, Ramo. Back on the island there is not much left for Karana and Ramo to use to survive, since their tribe had packed up all of the important weapons and food. A pack of wild dogs makes life even harder when they take Ramo’s life. Now, Karana is on her own and can rely on no one for help. She is on a path to self-discovery and the obstacles won’t be easy. Does she have what it takes to make it? How will Karana survive? Is there anyone who will be able to keep her company, and is there any way for her to be saved? Find out how strength, independence, and perseverance can see you through life’s darkest days.
After I found out that Scott O’Dell used the story of Juana Maria as the inspiration for Karana I was even more impressed. I think that the author did a fantastic job creating a main character that everyone can relate to in some way. I was able to connect with Karana and loved watching her change and grow throughout the book. You don’t want to miss this one!
Has anyone else read Island of the Blue Dolphins? Or have you read another book by Scott O’Dell? What did you think?