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.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published on September 9, 1960 by HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0395069629
ISBN-13: 9780395069622
184 Book Reviews
  • ILES sandboxover 1 year
    I LOVED it so good.
    • bgmcginn
      bgmcginnabout 2 years55 stars
      I loved the book! Karana faces dangerous situations. this story shows a lot of bravery. True story. I highly recommend this book.
      • bsc
        bscover 2 years55 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
          jdoodles35almost 3 years55 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 lamyabout 3 years
            • Marybethover 3 years
              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.
              • nac
                nacover 3 years55 stars
                I love how the book explains her survival methods. I also love her relationship with the wolf.
                • Evelynover 3 years
                  This book is awesome!!!!!!!!!!
                  • heavytoothpaste
                    heavytoothpasteover 3 years55 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
                      dunkelosteus587over 3 years55 stars
                      i read this it is sad this girls brother dies from a wolf attack