Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 5 - 10V5.440531

Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches.

Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.

More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana's quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience. From loneliness and terror come strength and serenity in this Newbery Medal-winning classic.

Paperback, 192 pages
Published on February 8, 2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0545289599
ISBN-13: 9780547328614
184 Book Reviews
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  • bgmcginn
    bgmcginnSunday, July 12, 2020 at 11:40 am55 stars
    I loved the book! Karana faces dangerous situations. this story shows a lot of bravery. True story. I highly recommend this book.
    • bsc
      bscFriday, January 17, 2020 at 2:31 pm55 stars
      This is such a good book! It shows bravery and takes the reader on a journey . I highly recommend this book. Please like this if you agree!
      • jdoodles35
        jdoodles35Friday, November 1, 2019 at 5:46 am55 stars
        This story is a lesson... Karana lives on an island that is plentiful, and fits the needs of herself, and her tribe. But when Russian hunters came to her island, the good life was vanquished. The Russians killed most of the tribe, and left with the riches of the island. But one summer day, a ship of American men come to save the tribe, and take them to the new land. Karana hurries to pack, only to jump from the ship to save her brother, who is later killed. Karana suffers through nearly twenty years alone on her island, with only her dog for company. And even after a devastating tsunami, she is trapped on her island. But one day, as she watches the ocean horizon, she sees a ship with white sails. Will this be her saving grace...or will it be the death of her?
        • shagun lamyWednesday, August 14, 2019 at 7:32 am
          • MarybethWednesday, June 26, 2019 at 9:42 am
            It’s well written and interesting. However, it is pretty violent and scary. Our son (9) was very upset when her brother died. He’s normally not emotional so I was surprised. He really connected to the character and was heartbroken. I would say 10 and up.
            • celia_berry13
              celia_berry13Monday, May 20, 2019 at 2:01 pm55 stars
              This book is fin-tastic! This book really helped me believe that I could be a strong girl! I suggest this book to kids ages 11 and up.
              • nac
                nacWednesday, April 17, 2019 at 11:09 am55 stars
                I love how the book explains her survival methods. I also love her relationship with the wolf.
                • EvelynTuesday, April 16, 2019 at 6:54 am
                  This book is awesome!!!!!!!!!!
                  • heavytoothpaste
                    heavytoothpasteThursday, January 31, 2019 at 9:44 pm55 stars
                    This book is a very good book. It shows how one girl alone can survive by herself out in the stranded on a island.
                    • dunkelosteus587
                      dunkelosteus587Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 8:52 am55 stars
                      i read this it is sad this girls brother dies from a wolf attack