UPDATE: 8 Indigenous Narratives for Those in Search of Alternatives to 'Island of the Blue Dolphins'

Those assigning Scott O'Dell's 1960 novel Island of the Blue Dolphins may want to look at these contemporary and historical works featuring coming-of-age themes and accurate depictions of Indigenous culture. 


Those assigning Scott O'Dell's 1960 novel Island of the Blue Dolphins may want to consider these Indigenous stories instead. Both fiction and nonfiction, these contemporary and historical works feature coming-of-age themes and accurate depictions of Indigenous culture. 


Boulley, Angeline. Firekeeper’s Daughter. Holt. ISBN 9781250766564.

Bowles, David. They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems. Cinco Puntos. ISBN 9781947627062.

Bruchac, Joseph. Rez Dogs. Dial. ISBN 9780593326213.

Bruchac, Joseph. Two Roads. Dial. ISBN 9780735228863.

Day, Christine. I Can Make This Promise. Harper. ISBN 9780062871992.

Day, Christine. The Sea in Winter. Heartdrum. ISBN 9780062872043. 

Little Badger, Darcie. Elatsoe. illus. by Rovina Cai. Levine Querido. ISBN 9781646140053.

Perry, Anthony. Chula the Fox. White Dog Pr. ISBN 9781935684626.

Quigley, Dawn. Apple in the Middle. North Dakota State University. ISBN 9781946163073.


Dunbar-Ortiz. An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People. adapt. by Debbie Reese & Jean Mendoza. Beacon. ISBN 9780807049396.

Gansworth, Eric. Apple: (Skin to the Core). Levine Querido. ISBN 9781646140138.

Grann, David. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. Crown. ISBN 9780593377352.

Treuer, Anton. Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask: Young Readers Edition. Levine Querido. ISBN 9781646140459.




Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing