Island of the Blue Dolphins Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is it that is now making Karana feel happy?

2. What do the villagers fear?

3. How do villagers feel about leaving the Island of the Blue Dolphin?

4. How do the Ghalas-at tribesmen prepare for the confrontation with Captain Orlov?

5. Where does a white puff of smoke come from?

Short Essay Questions

1. When there were people in Ghalas-at, Karana would be up before sunrise and busy with many things. What does she do now that she is the only person on the island?

2. Explain the image Karana uses to describe Roma's eyes.

3. What fills Karana with happiness the morning after she returns to the island in the leaking canoe?

4. Why isn't the autumn and winter peaceful in Ghalas-at, even though there is plenty of food for everyone?

5. How many men come in the Aleut ship under the command of Captain Orlov. What do they want from the people of Ghalas-at village?

6. Why didn't Karana want to return to the Island of the Blue Dolphins after her canoe starts to leak?

7. After the tribe recovers the school of white bass that are stranded on the rocky ledge, two of the Aleuts come to ask for some. What does Chief Chowig tell them?

8. Karana leaves the island in one of the hidden canoes. She is forced to turn back to the island after the canoe starts to leak badly. On the way back, she has two good fortunes. Describe what these good fortunes are.

9. When Karana goes to the spring to gather more water in her baskets, she seeks refuge from the wild dogs in a cave. She plans to turn the cave into another house. What does she do to the cave to make it habitable?

10. Karana moves her home to a high rock ledge, but the wild dogs continue to circle below. She decides to go against the tribe's taboo about women making weapons. What does she fear will happen if she makes the weapons?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

1) What is the message O'Dell is trying to convey in the novel?

2) Does he depict a realistic and relevant view of human nature through Karana's character?

3) Are the human qualities of the character too sentimental, cynical, or unwilling to change? Explain.

Essay Topic 2

1) Examine the concept that survival on the island is a form of initiation for Karana.

2) How does her life on the island move her from innocence to maturity?

3) In what way does she develop a new sense of herself?

4) How does she develop a deeper understanding of the world around her?

5) At what moment does this new knowledge of her world become evident to her?

Essay Topic 3

1) Imagine you are an historian reading the Island of the Blue Dolphins.

2) Would you see the story as historically accurate?

3) Use details from the story to support your answer.

4) What plot or setting descriptions would you change to make it more historically accurate?

(see the answer keys)

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