This book is apparently based on a true story, yet I am not sure which portions are fiction. I am assuming that the general plot is true whereas the other details were made for the book.
A fleet of Aleuts arrive to the Island of the Blue Dolphins to hunt for otters. To this the chief essentially says, “Last time I allowed this to happen, I was screwed over, so no thanks.” Using his charm, Captain Orlov convinces the chief that this time will be different. This time, the chief is promised to receive half of the otters that the Russians catch. Unlike the reader, who has seen this plot happen every single time, the chief believes that this arrangement will work. Shockingly, the islanders begin to notice that the Russians are getting ready to leave without sharing any of the otters. Outraged by this ‘unexpected’ turn of events, the chief confronts the fishermen. So let’s refresh: a European arrives on an island inhabited by indigenous people, cons them, and is thus confronted. As history has so readily proved, this confrontation will clearly be in the chief’s favor. Oh, wait, I was thinking textbook history! In actual events, it never ends well for the indigenous people. Amidst the battle, the chief and several men from the island die. There are causalities on the other end and the remaining survivors leave the island. Continue reading