21 October 2010

Island of the Blue Dolphins

This book was one of my absolute favorites as a child.  In fact, my original copy is falling apart, so I bought a new hard cover, not that it held up well when Emma borrowed (that being my 6 year old daughter).  However, it did handle her assault better than my old copy. 

This is a wonderful based on true story, female Robinson Crusoe book.  An island off the coast of California, only inhabited by a native tribe, and annihilated by Russian hunters and the need to never again witness death, a young woman of the tribe flees back when her little brother is left behind.  Her brother does not last long with the wild dogs on the island, and the girl is left alone on the island waiting for the "white men" to come and save her and fearing the return of the Aleuts who had massacred her people before.  She finds companionship among many of the animals of the island, including the leader of the dog pack that had murdered her brother.  She finds a peace in this existence, but does eventually leave when after many years, white men come again.  This is a wonderful story of survival through solitude and the need of all men and women to have someone to talk to, even if it is only the dogs that run wild and the birds in the trees. 

Grade level--2nd through 6th, although if your kid is a strong reader, as young as 6.  This tale is more peaceful and less "dramatic" than many written today.  I still love the story but am very aware that the calmness of the story may not appeal to "today's"  children.

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