Scott O'Dell Joyce Milton - Essay

Joyce Milton

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Karana, the Indian girl left to survive alone for 18 years [in Island of the Blue Dolphins] was a one-in-a-million child protagonist—a loner free to work her destiny totally without interference from adults….

The jacket copy of Scott O'Dell's new book, Zia, notes that O'Dell has received many requests to tell what happened to Karana, and one can see in this novel some of the tension between the pressure to produce a good storyteller's sequel and the author's reluctance to violate an essentially self-contained episode, based on fact, with a fictional post script.

Thus the heroine of this story is not Karana, who reappears only briefly and tragically later on, but...

(The entire section is 785 words.)