Scott O'Dell was born May 23, 1898 in Los Angeles, California and enjoyed the outdoors as a child. He spent time fishing in caves, and prying abalone off rocks. As an adult, he worked as a book editor for The Los Angeles Times and in 1934, with the publishing of his first novel, he became a full time writer. In 1950, he dedicated himself to writing children's books.
He wrote "The Island of the Blue Dolphins" in 1960, to protest the hunting taking place in the mountains east of San Diego. He drew on his memories as a child, of playing on Dead Man's Island near Los Angeles. He won the Newbery Medal for this book, which remains an all time favorite in young adult literature, and has been made into a motion picture.
He is the recipient of many literary awards. In 1981, he established the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, given annually to a book about young people set in the new world and written by a U.S. citizen.
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