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Study Guide Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

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Karana continued to watch for the boat that would rescue her as well as for the Aluet ship whose reappearance she dreaded. To prepare for the possible return of the Aluets, Karana prepared the canoe she had used when she left the island. She completely restructured it, taking it apart and making it shorter when she rebuilt it.

Rontu was with her as she rebuilt the canoe. She was pleased that he learned the meaning of words that she spoke to him. He did not understand every word she spoke, but enough to get the meaning of many things she said to him. When he did not understand, he still listened as though he did.

When the rebuilding project was completed, Karana and Rontu took a trip around the island in the canoe. On their short trip they came to a cave. In the cave they found a devil fish. Karana decided to make a special spear that she had seen made in the past. Then, she planned to return and catch the devil fish. They were delicious.

When they left the cave and ended their journey, Karana put the canoe in Coral Cave, where it would be safe. In the spring, she planned to take the canoe back to the cave and store it inside the cave on a ledge that she had discovered.


Karana has no human contact. But, her memories of the time when she was with her tribe helped her greatly. An example is her memory of how to catch the devil fish.



Karana started on her next project, a spear to catch the devil fish that she and Rontu had seen in the cave.

Rontu left their home and did not return. This was unusual. Karana worried if they would still be friends or if he would return to living with the wild dogs. She knew that she would never again make plans to kill him.

One day Karana took the canoe to the cave as she had planned. Afterward, she climbed up the cliff. She then heard the wild dogs. She went toward the sound. She saw an encounter between Rontu and two dogs from the pack. The pack was nearby. Karana wanted to help Rontu by spearing the two dogs, but decided not to do so. In the long run, she thought that it would not help. Rontu was successful against the two dogs. Afterward, he returned to their house and never left her again.


Karana was wise when she decided not to help Rontu. There was a good end result. But, it must have been difficult for her to watch him and do nothing.



Because of plentiful rain there was an abundance of flowers. And there were many birds, including some that Karana had never seen. She decided to keep the offspring of these strange visitors. She clipped their wings. When she eventually let their wing feathers grow out, they continued to stay nearby.

Karana made herself a skirt of yucca fibers. She put flowers in her hair and made a wreath of flowers for Rontu's neck. Dressed this way, they walked on the island and were happy.


Karana could have looked at her life and felt bad. There was uncertainty about her safety. There were no people to whom she could talk. But, she did not concentrate on these things. Instead, she looked at the beautiful birds and flowers and was happy.


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Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on The Island of the Blue Dolphins". . 09 May 2017