In my 36 years of teaching, I never taught a Scott O'Dell book. I have been reading them recently for e-notes and find them a good read. Why are his books not as widely read as others? Have you taught any of them? What was the students' reaction to them?
I've taught Island of the Blue Dolphins, Zia, and the Black Pearl when I had middle school students. My youngest son is in 4th grade now and Island is on his reading list this year. I agree with the above posters...O'Dell's books are very good and not as well known as other books.
Island of the Blue Dolphins is one of the only O'Dell books in our curriculum. I also read The Black Pearl and marvelled at its maturity, yet appeal to younger readers. I hope to attract some middle school teachers into utilizing his books.
I'm in the same league as the previous posters. I teach high school, so O'Dell's works aren't a part of the curriculum. However, I remember LOVING Island of the Blue Dolphins when I was younger, and my copy still sits proudly on my bookshelf. I've also had students mention it as one of their favorite books (especially at the 9th/10th grade levels...maybe because they retain the fond memories of elementary/middle school reading without the stigma of liking "childish" things). I'm not familiar with his other books, but if they're as good as Island of the Blue Dolphins, I'd certainly be tempted.
I, too, am stunned. I used to re-read Island of the Blue Dolphins every year. There's just something so compelling about this story and the style with which it's written. I teach high school so it just isn't on my teaching radar, but I've certainly made sure all my nieces and nephews have read this book. You've intrigued me enough to try some other O'Dell works. Thanks!
We read/studied the Island of the Blue Dolphins in 4th grade and I LOVED it. I was an elementary ed major and wrote one of my curriculum projects on it because I liked it so much. I actually teach high school (have never taught elementary despite my major) - so this fact surprises me as well.