American author Scott O'Dell is remembered for his young adult novels accounting history. As a winner of the Newbery Medal, Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960) is a classic survival story based on the true account of an Indian girl stranded for 18 years on an island off California. Like many of his books, it is narrated in the first person by a strong female protagonist and is rich in accurate historical detail.
In more than two dozen young adult novels that followed, O'Dell often wrote about racial conflict and exploitation. Sing Down the Moon recounts the enforced Long Walk of the Navajo. A trilogy — The Captive (1979), The Feathered Serpent (1981), and The Amethyst Ring (1983) — follows the subjugation of the Aztecs, Inca, and Maya. Modern problem novels about gang war and drug addiction include Child of Fire (1974) and Kathleen, Please Come Home (1978). O'Dell received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for lifetime achievement in 1972. He passed away on Oct. 15, 1989 at the age of 91.