This novel is based on the true story of Juana Maria, better known to history as "The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island", a Nicoleño Indian left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island, one of the Channel Islands off the California coast, before being discovered in 1853.
Island of the Blue Dolphins won the Newbery Medal in 1961. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1964. O'Dell later wrote a sequel, Zia, published in 1976.
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