Zia (Island of the Blue Dolphins #2) – by Scott O’Dell – independent book review – Historical Fiction (U.S.)

I felt compelled to read ZIA, after loving its prequel, ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS. (Both read for the first time as an adult.) Unfortunately, like many sequels, I didn’t find Scott O’Dell’s sequel quite as exceptional as the original, though still worthwhile. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.

Whereas ISLAND tells the story of how the young woman Karana wound up living alone on an island off the coast of California in the 1800s, ZIA comes at the same story from a different direction.

Zia is Karana’s niece who lives at a Christian mission in California. Zia wants to locate her missing aunt, the only family she has left except for a younger brother, and she works to make a rescue happen.

But most of the book is really Zia’s coming-of-age story. Her life at the mission and her adventures with her brother as she tries to get to Karana. As always when I read historical fiction, there’s a lot I learned — especially about the complex relationships among indigenous people, Spanish occupiers, and Christian missionaries — a piece of U.S. history I knew little about. Another NOT very flattering episode in our history.

ZIA is a quick read. So I’d recommend it for those who loved ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS.

More about the author, Scott O’Dell.

Scott O’Dell Photo from Wikipedia

You may be interested in my review of ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS.

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