A Native American girl lives for years as the only inhabitant on a small dolphin-shaped island off the coast of California. Based on the true story of Juana Maria, the last of her Channel Island tribe, who survived alone for nearly two decades before she was discovered in 1853. O’Dell imagines how the girl came to be stranded and how she survived, found food, built shelter, and defended herself against a pack of wild dogs, forever looking to the horizon for her people to return.
I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins when first introduced to it in elementary school and revisiting it now, I was entranced all over again. This was the book that sparked my love of island fiction, a genre that continues to capture my imagination to this day.