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Publisher's Summary

In the Pacific, there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea birds abound. Karana is the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Hers is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery. 

©1960 Scott O'Dell (P)1995 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, a Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc.

What the critics say

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 1961

"Narrator Tantoo Cardinal more than succeeds in delivering a lovely listening experience. Her accent and pronunciation are first rate. The music adds to the story with an ethnic sound. When the Russians invaded the island, many islanders were killed or fled. Some, like the young girl, Karana, were accidentally left behind. Karana's survival in remote isolation is moving and unforgettable. Both the text and Cardinal's style make the listener feel...part of Karana's isolation and maturation." (AudioFile magazine) 

What listeners say about Island of the Blue Dolphins

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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Amazing story

My teacher read this to my class in gr 5 and it was great to share this childhood memory with my children. A vividly told story of a young girl’s determination and ingenuity.

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my favourite book

It was like it sucked me in to the book, I felt like I was on that island with all the charters and I love that feeling.
This book is very good it kept me busy for a long time throughout the day. it gave me much pleasure listening to the Island of the Blue Dolphin.

Marlo (age 10)

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grew up with this book

this book is amazing and its awesome how they got a native women to read it because she made you feel like you were really on the island. you could feel the feelings of the characters.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pamela M.
  • 2014-10-01

A Beloved Favorite!

This is one of my all time favorite stories. I remembering reading it when I was young. It had such an impression on me I wanted to revisit it 20 years later. It's an adventure story of a 12 year old girl left alone on an island. She deals with loneliness and finds the strength and courage she needs to survive. Tantoo Cardnial was the perfect voice for this story. It's a true classic worthy of the Newbery Medal. A must read/listen for all ages.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Terri O. Johnson
  • 2009-07-23

Rich in cultural details and extremely well read.

I believe this will be a longtime favorite for me and my girls, ages 9,7,and 4. We all love a theme which combines history, culture, and a unique story line. This has it all. The narrators voice (likely a native american) adds to the visualization of the island. Highly recommend it!

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher B.
  • 2004-06-28

An old classic

I read this years ago in elementary school and remember enjoying it so much. I thought I'd pick it up for a trip I was going on since the length was right and I remembered it fondly.

I enjoyed hearing the story again as I'd forgotten most of the major points and the side plots. I thought that the narration was weak and the music during the dramatic moments was nauseating. I did get over this and it's not so rampent as to ruin the whole experience.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • kurt
  • 2009-02-21

Best audio book I've listened too

This is my all time favorite. The narrator is perfect for this enchanting story. Our whole family loved it -- children and adults.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 2004-04-18

Hauntingly beautiful

A very well written and exceptionally well read story. The theme of being alone, an only survivor, is one that is often considered and in this context, which seems very plausable, core feeings are dealt with: fear, loneliness, companionship and joy, making the story close to the reader and possible to identify with her. We didn't want it to end but so it had to be... It's a great listen!

8 people found this helpful

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  • MommaCX3 ☀️❤️
  • 2017-03-11

Great book but narration is a bummer

Narrator uses little to no inflection so it's a boring audiobook. However I read it to my kids a few months ago and we all loved it! Wish the narrator was a bit better.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Coco
  • 2016-06-30

Childhood favorite

I could listen to this story Everyday. Absolutely love it. very Heartfull and sad. enjoy the adventures and just everything about this story.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christina
  • 2008-08-08

Beautifully made! :D

I've read the book at school, and I bought the audiobook on iTunes after, and I absolutely loved the book. The audiobook, brings the book alive, I absolutley love the person who plays Karana, she did very well :D Super well written, I've still got to say, if you buy it, buy the book or go to the library. I love how O'Dell adds in the Wild dogs. I remember though it saying that they were wolves?? but i guess they were dogs... i think his name was.. Fox Eyes? I don't remember the dogs name. But I cried when he died.

Amazing. Must buy if you like dogs, stories about girls, pirates (kinda), and if you like stranded island kind of stories.

7 people found this helpful

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  • dg1811
  • 2017-03-21

Enchanting

Wonderful story and the reader made it real. I read this when I was in grade school and it was even more magical now.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Isabel
  • 2015-09-14

The story


I love this book it was amazing. I rate it all stars because this book makes me fill I'm in the book like, I know how she fills.this is a great book.

2 people found this helpful