A Year of Great Third Grade Read Alouds: January & February

Island 50th Edition

A whole new way of looking at things…

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (Level V)

Summary of the Book

“Karana is young when the Aleuts attack her village and tribe, killing her father and many others. When the new chief of the tribe heads out for a new land, he sends a ship back for his people. When it is about to set sail and Karana’s brother is still not on the ship, she jumps off and swims to the island. The book is based off of a true story that took place in the 1800s.”

Why This Book Is Great

This book isn’t like any other in the line-up and for that I loved it so much more. It was refreshing to read about a lost tribe of people that lived on a faraway island hundreds of years ago. Instead of relationships between characters, your students will have the chance to explore the relationships the character has with herself, her world and the animals living on the island.

I found this book very soothing to read because of the beautiful and wild nature described in the book. There’s something very Zen about living on a deserted island. Be warned, that beautiful nature can also be brutal and there are several scenes that involve hunting and killing.

Island of the Blue Dolphins is historical fiction so your class will learn something about the early explorers. For this reason, I thought it fit in well with geography and world studies for third grade.

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