The book "Island of the Blue Dolphins" by Scott O'Dell is primarily about a girl name Karana, who not only loses her father to fighting with the Aleuts, a Native American tribe, she also misses a boat that would have taken her to safety. She is left behind with her brother, who eventually dies after being attacked by wild dogs. Left alone on the island, Karana builds herself a place to live, befriends animals and eventually leaves on a ship.
When Karana and her brother Ramo see a ship approaching their island, the Island of the Blue Dolphins, they let their father Chowig, the chief of their village, know. It turns out that the ship contains men who want to hunt otters on the island. They all agree to allow the hunting with payment being half of the hunters' profits in iron spearheads and jewelry for the islanders. When there is disagreement about payment later on, many of the islanders, including Chowig, are killed by the Aleuts.
The new leader of the island tries to find another safe place for the islanders to live. Eventually, a ship comes back to pick them up, but Ramo and Karana are not aboard. After Ramo's death, Karana must fend for herself on the island, building a place to live and weapons to use.
Even though she befriends one of the wild dogs from the pack that kills her brother along with an Aleut girl, both friendships eventually end when one dies and the other leaves. At the end of the story, a ship comes to the island, and Karana and her new dog manage to finally leave, as she has longed for human contact.