Book Review: Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins_Kelley McMorris Illustration

Cover photo courtesy of Kelley McMorris

Mention Island of the Blue Dolphins, and almost everyone says “I love that book!” You either know it and love it, or you need to read it so you can love it.

Definitely don’t go here (SPOILERS) first.

End of review.

Anyway, imagine my surprise at finding this:

…a blog by kids about Island of the Blue Dolphins in which they rated the book 4.5 stars out of a possible 10!

My other surprises came while re-reading the book in order to reference Channel Islands National Park. First, the island in question – San Nicolas – is a Channel Island, but not part of the National Park. San Nicolas is farther south and west from the four islands that make up the park, which really helped explain why the island in the story seemed so isolated.

(Sorry kids, but the photo you provided of the island “setting” is wrong, as there isn’t another island close enough to stand on to take that picture. Also, Scott O’Dell’s real name was O’Dell Scott. Although I really like your cover photo collection, I can only give your website a 4.5/10. I wonder what your teacher graded it?)

Second, the book definitely held up between reading it as a child and as an adult, maybe because of how un-PC it is. Instead of avoiding the sad realities of life, the main character experiences a great deal of trauma and learns to deal and process and persevere.


(More Kelley McMorris Island illustrations at her blogspot.)


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