I help out with my school’s daycare program after I’m done with school. At the daycare program, they have designated “homework time.” The fourth graders I help out are reading Island of the Blue Dolphins.
They’re extremely unmotivated to read it, and I get it. I remember thinking it was boring and I wasn’t interested in it either. However, unlike the students I help out, I was able to get through the book and keep up with the class. Some of the kids are 3 chapters behind the rest of the class and I don’t know what to do.
It’s not really my job to be making sure they’re staying on track, as I’m just supposed to help with their homework when they ask for it. However, I just feel bad about not helping them when they’re behind because I can see why they’re unmotivated and I have a personal bond with them. I really want them to succeed, but I just don’t know how to go about it, especially when some of the unmotivated students are kids who like reading but just don’t want to read this book.
I’ve been thinking of ways to help them catch up. I thought maybe I could do a compromise? Like, I read one page, you read the next, but I wasn’t sure if that would be good because Im not always there to help them. I also thought of offering a larger reward. If you finish all your homework during “homework time,” you get one tiny piece of crappy, expired candy. So I was thinking of maybe offering something else, but I don’t want to make any parents angry by giving their kids sweets.
Also, you may be wondering “why isn’t the teacher doing anything?” I honestly don’t know. She was my fourth grade teacher and she was pretty awful, so I assume that’s why.
Anyway, if you have any tips, please let me know. I’m desperate to help these kids out. Thank you for any tips or recommendations you can offer!!
I am the guy with that post.
Thought I would give you an update.
Yes I LOVED it. I am so sad that it was this short though. :) I would loved to read a lot more about Karana.
Comparing to "The Clan of the Cave Bear" - yes it has the same starting point, "female Robinson", but it's not like this is a race, you can like both of them.
And you can read and like the real Robinson too (Defoe) and the Blue Lagoon too.
Still, I think I personally prefer Ayla to all of these :)
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell was a book I read over and over again when I was a kid. I’m looking for something like it for adults - exploration, adventure, self-reliance, building things, female protagonist. I have read Robinson Crusoe and Wild and am looking for something else. Suggestions please?
Here’s a description: “The Newberry Medal-winning story of a 12-year old girl who lives alone on a Pacific island after she leaps from a rescue ship. Isolated on the island for eighteen years, Karana forages for food, builds weapons to fight predators, clothes herself in a cormorant feathered skirt, and finds strength and peace in her seclusion.”
Edit: I read this book when I was teenager and am now 32. Looking for adult books. Thanks for all the great suggestions already! :)
The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O' Dell. Fascinating read, it shows the struggles and story of a young girl stuck alone on an island for about 20 so years. What's really amazing about this concept is that it was based on a real turn of events and happenings with the woman named "The Lost Woman of San Nicholas" . You can look it up now and read up about her. One thing I will mention however, is that once you've started reading about an individual fictional character's life, it's hard to let them go in the end as in Harry Potter because you feel a sense of longing and kind of miss them afterwards. 8.75/10 because there was no need to kill off the dog.
Similar to Island of the Blue Dolphins and the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
About a girl that is sent to live on an island, perhaps with an aunt/guardian who runs a school for girls. May have been set in 1700/1800.
There may have been a section with a character worrying about cannibals that live on a nearby island.
The cover has a girl looking at a ship/boat sailing away.
Re-read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell.
Reading it as a kid I focused on the awesome adventure aspects. Karana struck me as brave and resourceful. I admired her total independence. She had the skills to start with nothing but some rocks, sticks, and dirt and wind up with a house and clothing and food and a bunch of awesome pets. I remember being particularly taken with the scene where she discovers what appears to be the burial cave of one of her own distant ancestors and gets trapped in it over night.
Re-reading it as an adult, what I totally missed was the dire, aching loneliness. All of those cool things she did were more than just a means of physical survival -- keeping busy was a coping mechanism, to keep her mind off the unrelenting emptiness of the island. And she accumulated all of those cool pets because she was desperate for company, any company.
The prose lends itself to overlooking her chronic distress. It's spare, lean, and focused almost entirely on physical action. It addresses what she does and how she does it. Her emotions are referred to only in constructions like "I felt", turning the classic "show don't tell" on its head. Doing so mirrors her own coping method -- Karana cannot allow herself to think about her loneliness, because to do so would give it power. It would eat her alive, take all her motivation, plunge her into a pit of depression that would be lethal both to her chances of survival and the book's pace. It is only at the very end, when she rejoins a human community, that she can finally allow some bare acknowledgement of the situation.
Deservedly a classic.
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 77%. (I'm a bot)
> From 1835 to 1853, an American Indian woman, stranded after the evacuation of her people, lived alone on San Nicolas Island.
> Named Karana in Scot O'Dell's Island of the Blue Dolphins, the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island's native name is not known.
> She was part of the Nicoleño tribe that inhabited the island, the most remote of the Channel Islands at 61 miles off the coast of California, for some 10,000 years.
> Some say the young woman was not initially left behind, but jumped off the ship when she realized a young boy, either her son or younger brother, had been left on the island.
> There were stories of a lone woman seen running along the beaches of San Nicolas Island by fishermen.
> The Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island remains mostly a mystery.
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