The story takes place on an island in the Pacific Ocean that looks like a big fish sunning itself on the sea. It is called Island of the Blue Dolphins, and has dolphins, otters, and sea elephants swimming in the ocean around it. On the island is a little village called Ghalas-at, where a tribe of Indians lives. There is a strong wind that blows everyday, all through the year, leaving everything deformed and hills are polished smooth. A young girl stays on this island for many years in the story.
Won-a-pa-lei, which means, The girl with Long Black Hair, is the main character in the story. Her secret name is Karana. Karana is a girl who lives on the island and has to survive by herself by making shelter, catching food, killing wolves, and making weapons. She is very brave and independent. She must prepare herself for when the Aleuts, unwanted people, return. Other supporting characters are her father, Chief Chowig, and her sister, Ulape. They taught her many things about being independent and taught her many skills she would need in the future. These characters were in the beginning of the story. Through the story she meets a dog when she is alone on the island and calls him Rontu. She also meets many other friends; birds, otters, and another dog. All these animals keep Karana’s spirits high and keep her company.
A major event in the story was when the Aleuts came to the island to hunt for otter, and in the end didn’t pay their share. This resulted in many of the men from the Indian tribe being killed, and the Aleuts getting away. This was important to the story because the tribe decides to leave the island in case the Aleuts come again. This results in Karana and her brother being left on the island. She had to take care of herself and her brother, until her brother died. She had to live on the island until the ship returned.
The book was interesting in some parts of the book, but I didn’t really enjoy the book. The value of reading it was that it taught me that you should respect the animals and can become friends with them. Don’t trust anyone that you don’t know really well, and it tells that if you really try and have hope and courage you can reach your goal.