Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Raise your hand if you read this in school

The Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell, was historical fiction - that is to say - it was based on fact. Here is an LAT article on the real "Lose Woman of San Nicolas.

In the grand tradition of California Indians, her home was worked over by hunters, she got ditched for 18 years, and then when someone finally picked her up, it took just two weeks for he to die of some stupid mainland disease. Depressing.

Then the scientist profiled in the article goes on to deflate the imagination of two generations of fourth graders by poo-pooing any notion that O'Dell's book is at factually accurate. Kill joy.

Though if a lot of it isn't true, then maybe I won't cry next time I get to that part about the dog . . . . Shoot, the stuff they make you read in grade school. That and Where the Red Fern Grows, seriously, that stuff is scarring.

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