O'Dell, Scott "Island of the Blue Dolphins" - 1960
"Scott O'Dell won the Newbery Medal for Island of the Blue Dolphins in 1961, and in 1976 the Children's Literature Association named this riveting story one of the 10 best American children's books of the past 200 years."
The Native American girl Karana ends up on a deserted island where she spends eighteen years alone. The story tells about her life, her struggles to survive.
While I probably wouldn't call this one of the best children's books ever, I really liked this story when I read it as a girl. I read it later on with my boys and still thought it was a wonderful book. I later on read the sequel "Zia" which is interesting to read as a follow-up.
From the back cover:
"Twelve-year-old Karana escapes death at the hands of treacherous hunters, only to find herself totally alone on a harsh desolate island. How she survives in the face of all sorts of dangers makes gripping and inspiring reading. Based on a true story."