Island of the Blue Dolphins Questions and Answers
by Scott O'Dell

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How does the girl navigate her way across the ocean with the help of the stars? Is she killed in following the stars?

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When Karana leaves the island, her goal is to find a country to the east. She packs some supplies in a canoe and begins her journey on the ocean. To be successful, she must know what direction she is heading at all times. The stars act as her compass. The first night, she sees a familiar green star, and she knows that it will guide her east. Later, other stars become visible. Karana recognizes the green star as part of a familiar constellation, which helps her navigate east.

She is not able to use ocean waves to guide her. The waves don’t change direction during this night. Instead, the stars give her the information she needs to travel. Soon, she recognizes the North Star. By keeping the North Star to her left and the green star to her right, she can guide herself east. She uses the stars as compasses.

On the second night, Karana realizes that her journey is impossible. Her canoe is leaking, and she is exhausted from paddling. She decides to return to her island. Karana gets some help from dolphins who are heading west towards her island. Next, she recognizes a red star. It guides her west towards her home. Karana survives her trip because of her understanding of stars.

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