Island of the Blue Dolphins


By: Scott O’Dell

Read by: Tantoo Cardinal

A classic, revisited. A story of love, friendship, loss, and coming of age on the Island, as told by The Girl With The Long Black Hair.

I read this book many, many years ago (about two decades ago, give or take) and I hated the book. I don’t recall why, though. I would have rated the book two stars from memory alone. I had that bad of an experience from it. Again, I don’t remember why.

While out traveling for work (yes, I have a real job, too!), I like to listen to audiobooks on the road. So when I seen this on the shelf at the library in the children’s section, I decided to give it a second shot – and maybe remember why I hated it so much. What I wasn’t prepared for was how much I enjoyed it this time around. Or how emotional I felt listening to this.

The Girl With The Long Black Hair’s adventures start when The Russian comes to hunt the otters that live around the Island. It was also the beginning of the end for her people. The Girl watches, helpless as one after another, events change her life permanently. The story also shows the resilience of human nature, clearly, as she overcomes each obstacle, not complaining or whining, but rather boldly pushing herself into the future. After each sadness and loss, her determination and joy becomes sweeter and as satisfying to the reader as they are to her.

I should hope that if I were ever in a similar situation that I would have half the strength that The Girl possesses and gains. This should be a must read on every young girls reading list, and I can only hope that it may become a Disney movie, replacing the princesses that need rescuing, since The Girl rescues herself.

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