Island of the Blue Dolphins
Karana is clearly the novel's protagonist since the novel is written from her point of view and it's about her quest to survive alone and escape the island. The first-person narration tells us exactly what she is thinking. This means we really feel for her when she loses her brother, and we're on the edge of our seats when she's fighting that nasty devilfish. And we hold our breath in anticipation as she meets and becomes friends with Tutok.