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The Cay (Cay, Bk 1)
The Cay - Cay, Bk 1
Author: Theodore Taylor
Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand–until the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed. — When Phillip comes to, he is on a small raft in the middle of the sea. Besides Stew Cat, hi...  more »
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PBS Market Price: $7.59 or $3.69+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780440416630
ISBN-10: 0440416639
Publication Date: 5/28/2002
Pages: 144
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 36 ratings
Publisher: Yearling
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

cathyskye avatar reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 2253 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
First Line: Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness of the sea, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night.

It is 1942. Phillip Enright is eleven years old. He and his mother moved to the island of Curaçao off the coast of Venezuela when his father got a job with the Royal Dutch Shell oil refinery there. Phillip loves island life and thinks the sighting of German submarines is exciting until he sees one of his favorite ships torpedoed and sunk. His mother is homesick for her native Virginia, and the presence of the Germans makes her frantic with worry. Over everyone else's better judgment, she insists on taking Phillip with her back to Virginia.

The worst happens: their ship is attacked and sunk, and young Phillip (now injured and blind) finds himself marooned on a tiny island with an old black man named Timothy. Although Phillip's friends on Curaçao had much more relaxed attitude toward blacks, Phillip can't see, he's scared to death, and he treats Timothy as an American used to segregation would. That is something that old Timothy is not willing to accept.

This is a wonderful story about survival and acceptance with the rock solid character of Timothy at the center of it all. The setting of the tiny island is very well done, as is the use of dialect. This is a book that has a very high ethical purpose, and it succeeds because the author tells a believable, mesmerizing story-- he does not preach a sermon. Theodore Taylor has written other books, and I'd certainly like to sample more.
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AimeeM avatar reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 124 more book reviews
This story is a great one for older kids (say ages 9-14) though adults may derive some pleasure from it.
The story itself is not very believable, but it is none-the-less entertaining, and hard to put down!
reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 506 more book reviews
how blind he had been before he lost his sight and experienced the kindness, wisdom, and love of a simple and extraordinary man.
reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
The Cay
Grade 5-8This is a classic novel about racism and a young man's realization that skin color does not matter. Phillip is an 11-year-old living in the West Indies at the start of World War II. He's excited at the idea of being in the war but is taken away by his mother who only wants to return to the safety of Virginia. Their ship is sunk by the Germans, and Phillip and his mother end up on separate life rafts. After being hit on the head with a beam from the sinking ship, Phillip awakens to find himself alone with Timothy, an old black ship hand, and Stew Cat, the ship's tomcat. The three survive on a raft for several days, during which time Phillip loses his eyesight due to the head injury. They eventually come ashore on a small unpopulated island. Phillip must learn to deal with his blindness and overcome his dislike for Timothy. Phillip's question, "Timothy, are you still black?," shows that Phillip has moved past the barrier of color. After Timothy's death, Phillip continues to live on the island and is eventually rescued and reunited with his parents. This audio version of Theodore Taylor's novel (Doubleday, 1987) is well done, with actor Michael Boatman doing a wonderful job of giving the characters individual voices. The West Indian dialect is smooth. At the end of the novel, there's an author Q&A featuring an interview with Taylor in which he talks about the inspirations for his characters and his travels. An excellent purchase for middle and high school libraries.Lisa D. Williams, Chocowinity Middle School, NC
reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 1568 more book reviews
This is a really excellent young adult novel--neat for adults, too! Could you have done as well as young Phillip if YOU'D been stranded on a tiny island in the Caribbean?

From back cover: Shipwrecked! All his life Phillip had looked down upon black-skinned people. Now,suddenly, he was a refugee from a fatal shipwreck, and dependent on an extraordinary West Indain named Timothy. There were just the two of them cast upon the barren little Carribean Island...three if you counted Stew Cat...and a crack on the head had left Phillip blind.
Page5 avatar reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on
Great book! I read this book to my family during our vacation last year. We all loved it. A boy and a man are shipwrecked together in the caribbean during WW2 and they learn to "see" each other differently and appreciate each other's differences and knowledge. There is also a sequel.
reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 39 more book reviews
A snob is a refugee from a ship wreck in the caribbean. With just two people on the island. Phillip (the snob) will find out what a true companion is. Growing up and surviving!
lipslady avatar reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 101 more book reviews
My 13 year old loved this book and I heard all about it whilst he was reading it!
reviewed The Cay (Cay, Bk 1) on + 45 more book reviews
great book opens your eyes worth reading!!

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