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
170 Book Reviews
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  • lucasb2007
    lucasb2007Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:12 pm
    I wasn't so sure when my mom told me I should read this book, but it turns out it was a very good book. I liked the story of the girl living on the island and living off the land. It was sad to read about some of the things that happened to her, but it was also great to she how strong she was. I think this is a good book to teach about how to keep going and doing your best.
    • kittykitkat
      kittykitkatFriday, May 12, 2017 at 10:01 am55 stars
      I cried it was so good.
      • princessmuscles
        princessmusclesTuesday, February 7, 2017 at 3:34 pm44 starsFeatured
        This is a really addicting book with excitement and points of sadness.A novel that has a heartwarming sense of weirdness that transforms into beautiful culture.A mix of a fantasy and non-fiction.This is a book that is based on real life event in the coastal town of Galas-at,a Native tribe village.This is a really lovely story and recommend this uplifting book for all ages!
        • juanstayballing
          juanstayballingFriday, December 16, 2016 at 12:32 pm55 stars
          far off the coast of california looms a harsh rock known as san nicols islamd. Blue dolphins splash in the water surounding it, sea otters play in the kelp bed, and seabirds roost in its crags. once, Islands aslo lived on the island until one day they decided to leave and sailed to the east.
          • annabethhermone
            annabethhermoneThursday, November 3, 2016 at 7:12 pm
            My class is going to read this book.... My Sis say its a WONDERFUL book
            • iifreeze
              iifreezeWednesday, November 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm
              A great book. Karana is left on an island and must use her surroundings to survive.
              • bluejems
                bluejemsWednesday, November 2, 2016 at 5:25 pm
                I didn't read the whole book but it was good I guess.
                • pororo06
                  pororo06Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 12:29 am55 stars
                  This is a story I read in 4th grade. It was so good that I can remember every single detail in this book. It related to the Native Americans, a subject we were learning in Social Studies. I think it helped me learn new facts about Native Americans.
                  • mastercash101
                    mastercash101Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm
                    loved it it's just i need to read it again
                    • katniss75
                      katniss75Friday, June 17, 2016 at 8:50 am22 stars
                      same with other ibd book review

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