Sarah Bishop—The Book by Scott O’Dell

In 1980, while living in Katonah, New York, a few miles from West Mountain, Scott O’Dell (The Island of the Blue Dolphins, The road to Damietta, Sing Down the Moon, The Black Pearl) published this fictionalized account of Sarah Bishop’s Life. Fifteen-year-old Sarah lives on a little Long Island farm at the outbreak of the War for Independence. Her brother defies his Tory father and leaves to join the patriot army. Soon her father dies for his Tory sentiments. Finding herself a homeless orphan, Sarah goes to the crowded young city of New York. There she finds herself accused by the British of a crime she did not commit. Fleeing for her life, Sarah finds a cave in the wood about 50 miles north of the city. The cave becomes her wilderness refuge. Drawing on strengths and skills she had not known she possessed, she begins to shape a new life.

…this book is a vivid reflection of life in Revolutionary New York … the story of … a stout-hearted heroine who, although caught in the conflicts of her own age, might have lived anywhere at any time.”

About the Author

Scott O’Dell (1898–1989), one of the most respected authors of historical fiction, received the Newbery Medal, three Newbery Honor Medals, and the Hans Christian Andersen Author Medal, the highest international recognition for a body of work by an author of books for young readers. His books have entertained and enlightened millions of readers around the world. Children with a thirst for adventure and a love of nature are drawn to his stories of young people, whose survival depends on their determination and self-reliance. He has been called “the foremost American writer of children’s historical fiction.” Although he is best known for stories set in the past, his books include gothic romances, nonfiction, and stories of contemporary life.

Although more than two decades have passed The Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fictionsince his death, Scott O’Dell’s books are still widely read. A project he began before his death is still encouraging writers to focus on historical themes. In 1984, he established the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, which is given each year to the best historical novel for children. The award carries a prize of $5,000. To learn more about the author, visit