Karana planned to leave the dolphin-shaped island with her family and tribe. However, when she sees her little brother left behind on the shore, her split-second decision changes the course of her life. As Karana and her brother struggle to survive alone, she must hunt, find shelter, and contend with nature. When her brother is tragically killed, Karana perseveres as she waits for the boat to return for her. As the seasons pass, Karana realizes that no one is coming for her and she must make a life for herself. Her courage and resourcefulness allows her to survive and, ultimately, to thrive.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell is classified as children's literature, but I recommend it to all age groups. The story is entertaining and unique. O'Dell captured my imagination from the beginning of the story and carried it through until the end. What fascinated me the most is that the story is based on real-life happenings. I could identify with Karana and admired her throughout the story. A good read for children and adults, alike.