Sunday, December 16, 2012

Island of the Blue Dolphins Book Review

In the mid-1830's, the Aleuts come to the remote village of Ghals-at, on a tiny island far off the coast of California. There is a fierce battle, and many villagers die. Soon the Aleuts leave the island. The remaining villagers decide to leave as well, but a young girl, Karana is left behind. Alone on the island,she must now take on men's work, such as hunting, and making spears or canoes, in order to stay alive. She wants revenge on the wild dogs who killed her brother, and  kills a few of the dogs, but she changes her mind  when she finds the wounded leader of the pack. She tames him and names him Rontu.
After a while, Karana makes a good place for herself. She builds a strong home, surrounded by a fence made of whale bones and even furbishes a nearby cave with food in case the Aleuts ever come back, so she can hide from them. As she explores 'her' island, Karana discovers ancient artifacts left by people long ago. She also tames birds and otters; she is no longer lonely and is happy with her animal friends.
One summer, the Aleuts return, and she hides in the cave. She spies on them, and  sees that there is a girl, Tutok, with them, who cooks for them,often getting water from the pool near Karana's cave. Despite Karana's fears, she and Tutok meet and befriend each other. They give little gifts to each other and learn the other's language. When they leave,Karana realizes how lonely she has been without other people.
More time goes by, and Rontu dies. She finds his son, however and takes him in, naming him Rontu-Aru (Son of Rontu). One day, she sees the sails of a ship. It docks, but it then leaves after calling out something. She wonders if they were looking for her. A few years later, in the spring, the boat comes back, so she dresses up in her best skirt of cormorant feathers and goes to the shore to meet them.The sailors realize her attire will not be appropriate for the mainland, and they have a dress made for her. Although she does not like it, she cooperates, bringing Rontu-Aru with her to start her new life in civilization. The book is based on a true story, and while it seems like it might be sad, it isn't, for Karana is not often lonely, busy taming animals and building structures. While I was on google looking for a picture of the book, I discovered there is an Island of the Blue Dolphins movie! I'll have to ask Mom and Dad if we can get it. Have you ever read Island of the Blue Dolphins?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be nice when you comment!