Island of the Blue Dolphins centers on the lonely yet adventurous life of a Native American girl, Karana when she was left in an island by her tribe. In order to survive, Karana had to do the tasks that was traditionally and solely assigned to the men of their tribe: to craft weapons and to hunt. At the beginning, Karana is filled with uncertainties, but it is soon replaced by a strong will to fight and avenge. The wild dogs that killed her brother frequently surrounded her, so she had no choice but to defend her life.
The novel is told in the point of view of Karana making it almost a reflective story of her solitary life in the island. She is frequently reminiscing her tribal life while sewing skirt, making arrows, and spears. Sometimes, when in the middle of hunting or fighting, she speaks of fears and chances. On boring days, Karana shares her fascination on changing seasons and migrating birds. When her thoughts go deeper, and more introspective, she comes to the point of saying she also enjoyed being alone.
"All day I was among rocks gathering shellfish and only once did I think of the wounded dog, my enemy, lying there in the house, and then to wonder why I had not killed him."This children's classic, Newbery Medal winner novel, is definitely more than just a story of survival. In Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell also showed a person's transformation as the resentful Karana, once scarred by traumatic experiences, grows into a kind and harmonious person of the island. This is an interesting version of what could have really happened to the historical, and the novel's basis, The Lost Woman of San Nicolas.