When you look at the cover of Island of the Blue Dolphins you think, this is definitely not going to be that good of a book. But when you start getting farther and farther, it's a page-turner! The main story of the book is survival. When getting further into that topic, there is some sad things that happen. For example, the father gets killed by the otter-hunters, and the brother is killed by dogs (he is surrounded by the dogs dead). I think that it would be a great read-aloud book to read to your children or the children read the book to the parent. Can be scary at times but it's really good!