Books by Scott O'Dell

THUNDER ROLLING IN THE MOUNTAINS by Scott O'Dell
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1992

"A fitting end to a distinguished career. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Seen through the eyes of Chief Joseph's daughter, Sound of Running Feet, O'Dell's last novel (coauthored and completed after his death by his wife) recounts the circuitous, tragic journey of the Ne-mee-poo (Nez Perce) from their Oregon home to the Lapwai Reservation in Idaho. Read full book review >
ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS by Scott O'Dell
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1990

An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and a dozen compelling full-page watercolor illustrations to enchant new readers and old friends. Read full book review >
MY NAME IS NOT ANGELICA by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1989

"There are glimpses of intriguing, sumptuous African kingdoms and moments of compelling drama, as when Raisha witnesses the death of a fellow slave; but the story needs more substance to capture the appetites of young readers for this chapter in history."
A 16-year-old slave gift witnesses the 1733 rebellion of slaves against Dutch planters in the Virgin Islands. Read full book review >
BLACK STAR, BRIGHT DAWN by Scott O'Dell
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 1988

"Still, readers will share a splendid, vividly written adventure with Bright Dawn; perhaps that is enough."
When her father's injuries force him to drop out of the annual dog-sled race from Anchorage to Nome—the 1179-mile Iditarod—Bright Dawn takes his place. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1987

"Young readers might do better with Frances Mossiker or Jean Fritz as biographers."
Although she meets King James of England and is invited to come and write letters at court because of her fair penmanship, Serena Lynn takes a ship for the New World, following the fortunes of Anthony Foxcroft, hot-blooded son of the Countess who had employed her. Read full book review >
STREAMS TO THE RIVER, RIVER TO THE SEA by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1986

"A satisfying historical chronicle."
A fictionalized version of the story of Sacagawea, the young woman who traveled with Lewis and Clark on their expedition across America. Read full book review >
THE AMETHYST RING by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: April 27, 1983

Here concludes O'Dell's dazzling drama of the temptation, fall, and redemption of Julian Escobar, the 16th-century Spanish seminarian who came in The Captive to rule a New World island as the Mayan god Kukulcan. Read full book review >
THE SPANISH SMILE by Scott O'Dell
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 25, 1982

"Hokey extravaganza with a vengeance, but sure to find its breathless audience."
It's difficult to remember that this island castle, domain of the fanatical tyrant Don Enrique de Cabrillo y Benivides and prison for his beautiful daughter Lucinda, is a contemporary setting. Read full book review >
THE FEATHERED SERPENT by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Oct. 26, 1981

"In this strong middle volume, in which much is set in motion but little is decided, O'Dell gives us an interesting though not revealing view of the great Moctezuma's 'confused' last days, a lightning-like spectacle of multifarious intrigue, and, above all, a shrewd, set-back, wait-and-see look at Julian's loyalties and perceptions in formation."
At the end of The Captive (1978), we left the shipwrecked young seminarian Julian Escobar assuming the identity of the reincarnate god Kukulcan—the alternative to a ritual death—and surveying the Mayan island city-state he now rules in that capacity. Read full book review >
THE CAPTIVE by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Oct. 24, 1980

"It is a measure of his seriousness and his skill that the suspense focuses not on events, which have so far been swift and stunning, inevitable and unexpected, or on the artfully foreshadowed intrigue, confrontations, and dangers that are sure to follow, but on Julian's moral choices and on what he will make of his false, exalted position."
This brilliant first volume in a projected sequence begins when Julian Escobar, an idealistic 16-year-old seminarian in early 16th-century Spain, is part bullied, part lured by the promise of savage souls and a future Bishopric, to accompany imperious young Don Luis to the nobleman's New World island. Read full book review >
SARA BISHOP by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: April 23, 1980

"It is, though, her own resourcefulness that gets her out each time; there is some small, undramatic progression in her withdrawal and incipient healing; and the adventure, historical background, survival mechanics, and inner condition are well integrated."
In the early days of the Revolutionary War, Sara Bishop's Tory father is killed and their farmhouse burned by hoodlum Patriot Boys. Read full book review >
KATHLEEN, PLEASE COME HOME by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1978

"Of course this sort of material has an enduring fascination for daydreaming stay-at-homes."
The diary of a runaway girl, whose dismal experiences are attributed largely to "going along" with a bad companion. Read full book review >
CARLOTA by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1977

"The lancers' battle is a real one and Carlota partly based on an actual Californian; besides the historical veracity O'Dell fills out his thin, commonplace plot with characteristic narrative vitality, sharp (if simple) characterization, and genuine period color."
Raised as a sort of surrogate for brother Carlos who died at two, Carlota brands stock and rides with the vaqueros, wears deerskin trousers, and beats the young men in a horse race during her younger sister's wedding celebration. Read full book review >
THE 290 by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Oct. 27, 1976

"The point seems to be that loyalty is more a matter of the heart than of the head, and even that point is made only diffidently and inconclusively, though as usual O'Dell's seamanship and yarnsmanship are impeccable."
As trim a tale as you'd expect from Scott O'Dell, but one more than a little narrow in the beam—just like the Confederate raider Alabama, on which the hero sees action and defeat in the Battle of Cherbourg. Read full book review >
ZIA by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: March 29, 1976

"And Zia's narrative continues the laconic precision and sober beauty we remember from Island of Blue Dolphins."
Zia is a fictional character but spiritual heir to the factually based Karana who returns from the Island of Blue Dolphins only to die without ever being able to adjust to the restrictions of mission life. Read full book review >
THE HAWK THAT DARE NOT HUNT BY DAY by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Oct. 8, 1975

"Worthwhile, though the parts are more interesting than the whole."
Bible smuggling in the days of Henry VIII is the topic of this reticent though admirably researched demi-adventure. Read full book review >
CHILD OF FIRE by Scott O'Dell
Released: Sept. 4, 1974

"Contemporary parables are a tricky business; O'Dell invests this one with a self-contained dignity, and it can be read as a psychological thriller even while one is pondering just how deep the vein of fatalism really runs."
A probation officer wouldn't seem to be a very promising narrator for a story about Chicano youth, but in this case he turns out to be the right kind of concerned but neutral observer, one distanced enough to reduce the character of young gang leader Manuel Castillo to a series of dramatic, highly symbolic gestures. Read full book review >
THE CRUISE OF THE ARCTIC STAR by Scott O'Dell
FRIENDS AND SCHOOL
Released: March 23, 1973

"It's worth going along."
Only Scott O'Dell could turn an uneventful cruise up the Pacific coast into a suspenseful adventure based entirely on his growing suspicions about the reliability of the Arctic Star's hired skipper and, at the same time, conduct a grand tour from the confines of the boat's cabin. Read full book review >
SING DOWN THE MOON by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Oct. 19, 1970

"A slender story, a novella really, but telling, though one's commitment is to the cause rather than to the people."
If Bright Morning were to show her pleasure in the river's running, the new spring's signal to take the sheep up to the mesa, or if her people were to shed tears on The Long Walk into captivity, the gods would be displeased: with the same dignity and reserve, Mr. O'Dell makes of her story the Navaho epic of dispossession and endurance. Read full book review >
JOURNEY TO JERICHO by Scott O'Dell
Released: Sept. 24, 1969

"Pleasant enough doings, however, if you're willing to indulge a boy so engrossed in the pickles-he's carrying to his father that he doesn't give the cars he's never seen a second glance."
... or how David carried Grandma May's last jar of watermelon pickles — her one thousand, six hundred and thirty-third — from Big Loop, West Virginia to Jericho, California... and dropped it in the excitement of seeing his father again. Read full book review >
THE DARK CANDE by Scott O'Dell
Released: Oct. 31, 1968

"I'd like to look at it too'— and as an initiation to Moby Dick this is more viable than it is as a knotted and knobby short novel."
Is the dark object floating amidships that Nathan first took for the body of older brother Jeremy a chest or a canoe or a coffin? Read full book review >
THE BLACK PEARL by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Sept. 6, 1967

"A short novel with the aura of a legend, the intensity of a vision, the headlong force of stripped-down, Keyed-up fiction."
It was a dream so wild that only a very young man and a stupid one could dream it. Read full book review >
THE KING'S FIFTH by Scott O'Dell
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1966

"Unloose the adjectives for this one: a stunning novel of compelling interest and mounting impact."
The theme of Conquistador betraying Indian, betraying his fellows and inevitably betraying himself, has been given no more powerful expression than in Newbery winner Scott O'Dell's second novel for young people. Read full book review >
THE SEA IS RED by Scott O'Dell
Released: Nov. 19, 1958

"Long on action and coincidence, short on credibility, this novel presents a facet of the Civil War that has the merits of being novel if little else."
In 1861 when the novel begins, Kirk Britt is a trader in Port-au-Prince. Read full book review >
COUNTRY OF THE SUN by Scott O'Dell
Released: June 28, 1957

"The prospective tourist venturing to the Golden West might do well to glance through."
Following an introduction about the early explorers and foreign powers in Southern California and its emergent status as a part of the United States, we are invited to a historical and anecdotal survey of each of the nine southern California counties. Read full book review >

"An authentic picture of the times, and good reading."
A first novel by a Californian about California a hundred years ago, the setting the settlement which became San Francisco, then a Spanish trading post, a garrison and a Mission. Read full book review >