Island of the Blue Dolphins

by Scott O'Dell

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Book Information

Publication Date: 1960


Reading Level: Lexile Measure 1000L, Scholastic Guided Reading Level V


Interest Level: Grades 5-7


Major Awards: 1961 Newbery Winner


Number of Pages: 192 pages


Approximate Word Count: 34,800 word -- The average reader will spend 2 hours and 19 minutes reading Island of the Blue Dolphins at 250 words per minute.*


Audible Book Length: 3 hrs and 55 mins


Book Themes: Man and the Natural World, Violence, Survival, Friendship, Loneliness (Isolation)


Genre: Robinson Crusoe Type Adventure


Setting: based on the true story of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island - 75 miles off the coast of Southern California


Important Quote: Below me Rontu was running along the cliffs barking at the screaming gulls. Pelicans were chattering as they finished the blue water. But suddenly I thought of Tutok, and the island seemed very quiet.

After that summer, after being friends with Won-a-nee and her young, I never killed another otter. I had an otter cape for my shoulders, which I used until it wore out, but never again did I make a new one. Nor did I ever kill another cormorant for its beautiful feathers, though they have long, think necks and make ugly sounds when they talk to each other. Nor did I kill seals for their sinews, using instead kelp to bind the things that needed it. Nor did I kill another wild dog, nor did I try to speak another sea elephant.
Ulape would have laughed at me, and other would have laughed, too -- my father most of all. Yet this is the way I felt about the animals who had become my friends and those who were not, bu in time could be. If Ulape and my father had come back and laughed, and all the other had come back and laughed, still I would have felt the same way, for animals and birds are like people, too, though they do no talk the same or do the same things. Without them the earth would be an unhappy place.


First Line: I remember the day the Aleut ship came to our island.


Point of View: First Person Told by the Main Character - Karana

* Information from Reading Length

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