web site hit counter The Cay - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Cay

Availability: Ready to download

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, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timoth 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, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently.”     But by the time the castaways arrive on a small island, Phillip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy.


Compare

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, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timoth 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, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently.”     But by the time the castaways arrive on a small island, Phillip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy.

30 review for The Cay

  1. 4 out of 5

    A. Dawes

    This was our Grade 6 novel and it was the first book that had me in tears. Young Phillip was on a freighter, which was blown up. Blinded, he only has a cat and an elderly Black West Indian, Timothy, with him on the small raft of survivors. Phillip, as per the era, has been 'warned' about the vast differences between Whites and Blacks. Yet when they arrive on the island, it is the West Indian who shows courage, grit and warmth to help them survive for the time being . I won't spoil it, but it's a This was our Grade 6 novel and it was the first book that had me in tears. Young Phillip was on a freighter, which was blown up. Blinded, he only has a cat and an elderly Black West Indian, Timothy, with him on the small raft of survivors. Phillip, as per the era, has been 'warned' about the vast differences between Whites and Blacks. Yet when they arrive on the island, it is the West Indian who shows courage, grit and warmth to help them survive for the time being . I won't spoil it, but it's an incredibly powerful, sad and inspirational story. What's more, I still recall the emotional impact it had on me as a kid - and that surely speaks volumes for the story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Childhood Reading: "The Cay" by Theodore Taylor Original Review, 1981-02-15) I have some sympathy with some people in the sense that it is disappointing to re-read a cherished childhood book and have these once-unquestioned prejudices jump off the page. Quite disconcerting. However, when we were ourselves children, it was water off a duck's back. We were reading for the story, not the attitudes. If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Childhood Reading: "The Cay" by Theodore Taylor Original Review, 1981-02-15) I have some sympathy with some people in the sense that it is disappointing to re-read a cherished childhood book and have these once-unquestioned prejudices jump off the page. Quite disconcerting. However, when we were ourselves children, it was water off a duck's back. We were reading for the story, not the attitudes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Helen Pontak

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Cay is a book about a boy named Phillip Enright living in the time of a world war II (1942). When German U-boats surround the island of Curacao, his mother who is frightened wants to go back to the Netherlands and take her son with her. Her husband who has to work was not able to leave, Phillips mother complained and eventually won the argument. Phillip and his mother say goodbye to Phillips father and they sail away on a ship. The ship becomes shipwrecked and Phillip and his mother get thro The Cay is a book about a boy named Phillip Enright living in the time of a world war II (1942). When German U-boats surround the island of Curacao, his mother who is frightened wants to go back to the Netherlands and take her son with her. Her husband who has to work was not able to leave, Phillips mother complained and eventually won the argument. Phillip and his mother say goodbye to Phillips father and they sail away on a ship. The ship becomes shipwrecked and Phillip and his mother get thrown off the boat. A black man named Timothy rescues Philip. At first Phillip doesn’t like Timothy because of what his mother always says about black people, but as they are stranded together for a while he grows onto him and learns about him, and at last starts to like him. The main character is Phillip who doesn’t want to leave his home, his school, and his father, just because of the fact that his mother is scared something bad might happen to them. He is eleven years old and has brown hair and brown eyes. Phillip at first is excited about the fact that there is a war going on because he has always heard of them but never seen one. He doesn’t know what consequences lay ahead and doesn’t know why his mother wants them to move somewhere until the war is over. He is stubborn at first, but through the book he changes and becomes more responsible and obeys commands he is given. This book tells us that, people grow up and when the time comes, they understand what may happen, and that’s what changes them. It’s a story of friendship, and trust and faithfulness. Timothy didn’t have to save Phillip, he could have saved himself and left Phillip to die, but he didn’t and that’s what counts the most. Another example is when Phillip became blind. Timothy was Phillips eyes, and again, he didn’t have to be if he didn’t want to be, but he cared for Phillip and helped him through his times of need. I think this novel is interesting because Philip seems like a real boy with real situations, but I didn’t think that it was really realistic when, with all the bad things happening at once, Phillip turns blind. I know that can happen when you stair at the sun, but you would think that that would just be the worst of luck. I think that this would be a worst care scenario and I think that it’s almost exaggerating the story a little too much. I like the book a lot because even though the plot wasn’t so realistic, sometimes people want something like that, once in a while. It just happened to be that time when I was craving for imagination, and that’s what I got from the book. I can be stubborn sometimes and not want to do something that I don’t have to do or do something that I’m not supposed to do. But I change with the help of the people that care for me .I would definitely recommend this book to people who like adventure and creativity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karina

    3.5 I LOVED reading this. It had so much depth for a young adult to read. I also learned how this island was Nazi targeted. It makes me realize how much I don't know or how much "they" try to hide about history. Soon we will all forget there were any world wars at all.... Set in WWII in the Dutch Island of El Curacao, the American 11yr old originally from Virginia, Phillip tells us what is going on in his world. Ultimately, his mom decides to go back to the states for fear of being bombed but th 3.5 I LOVED reading this. It had so much depth for a young adult to read. I also learned how this island was Nazi targeted. It makes me realize how much I don't know or how much "they" try to hide about history. Soon we will all forget there were any world wars at all.... Set in WWII in the Dutch Island of El Curacao, the American 11yr old originally from Virginia, Phillip tells us what is going on in his world. Ultimately, his mom decides to go back to the states for fear of being bombed but then the ship they are aboard gets attacked. Phillip eventually ends up stranded with the black man, Timothy, at the Devil's Mouth. The rest is so sweet and sad my eyes watered. While the book was made in 1969 it made me wonder of the racist tones of the author. This book would probably cause anger now but it shows the casualness of the time. The story is also based on a true historical fiction story. Easy read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    D'Ette had to read this book for school and she loved it. She asked me if I would also read it. It's a children's book, so it doesn't take long to read. I read the whole thing in about two hours. It's easy to see why the book won literary awards and was made into a movie. It's a great story, told from the point-of-view of 12-year-old Philip, who gets lost at sea with a black man after the boat he is traveling in with his mother is attacked by Germans. Philip loses his sight and is forced to learn D'Ette had to read this book for school and she loved it. She asked me if I would also read it. It's a children's book, so it doesn't take long to read. I read the whole thing in about two hours. It's easy to see why the book won literary awards and was made into a movie. It's a great story, told from the point-of-view of 12-year-old Philip, who gets lost at sea with a black man after the boat he is traveling in with his mother is attacked by Germans. Philip loses his sight and is forced to learn how to live on a small island without his sight. It's a great story for older kids or adults looking for an adventure to read in an afternoon.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jamila

    The Cay is well-written with powerful imagery and an engaging and fast-paced plot. I love the WWII and Caribbean setting. Unfortunately, The Cay is outdated and reinforces negative stereotypes, even while working to help its readers overcome prejudice. A few things: 1. Timothy is the perfect representation of "The Magical Negro," a classic archetype in American media in which the spiritual Black character's sole purpose is to enlighten and help White people on their journeys to become better humans The Cay is well-written with powerful imagery and an engaging and fast-paced plot. I love the WWII and Caribbean setting. Unfortunately, The Cay is outdated and reinforces negative stereotypes, even while working to help its readers overcome prejudice. A few things: 1. Timothy is the perfect representation of "The Magical Negro," a classic archetype in American media in which the spiritual Black character's sole purpose is to enlighten and help White people on their journeys to become better humans. Like Timothy, TMN's usually die (all the better for plots). 2. Phillip refers to Timothy as ugly and black at least twice. Though this language serves the purpose of highlighting Phillip's prejudice, it also reinforces the common belief that Black is less beautiful and that Black facial features are truly ugly. A Black student reading this language might feel sad/uncomfortable and prefer not be identified as Black, or might not connect with Timothy so as not to be viewed as Black and ugly. This language is more hurtful to Black students with low self-image. 3. The book upholds the superiority of White people and the inferiority of Black people. Timothy is poor, has lower, traditional literacy skills, speaks in a dialect, doesn't know his own age, calls Phillip "boss," and has a seemingly inferior, spiritual belief system. Phillip is presented as more superior. -- One might say, "Isn't that the point?" I would argue that it would be just as powerful to experience a racial epiphany through an equal, peer relationship or from a Black character who is not inferior. Phillips learns to love Timothy, but does Phillip learn they are equal and that he is not superior. Which parts of Phillip's worldview change? 4. Point 3 above connects to "The Magical Negro" in that often in American media likeable White protagonists get to be smarter than and less respectful (cheeky/fresh) to their simpleton/entertaining Black caretakers/sidekicks. We see this with Huck/Jim, Shirley Temple/Bojangles, Scarlett O'Hara/Mammy + Prissy, etc. Though loveable and fun, the Black characters are still presented as inferior (except in the spiritual/magical way). I do not recommend The Cay. On a personal note, I would not want my son to read it in his classroom.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mary Grace

    This is the best book eva!!!!! It is so sweet! I cried my eyes out at the end though!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marika Gillis

    I read this book with my students when I was a 5th grade teacher in Virginia... four times. However, I don't remember enjoying the book as much then as I did this year. A 12-year-old boy, Phillip, and an old black sailor, Timothy, are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island after their boat is attacked by the Germans near Curacao during World War II. Phillip has been blinded as a result of the shipwreck and must rely on Timothy to help him survive on the island. Theodore Taylor effectively illustrate I read this book with my students when I was a 5th grade teacher in Virginia... four times. However, I don't remember enjoying the book as much then as I did this year. A 12-year-old boy, Phillip, and an old black sailor, Timothy, are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island after their boat is attacked by the Germans near Curacao during World War II. Phillip has been blinded as a result of the shipwreck and must rely on Timothy to help him survive on the island. Theodore Taylor effectively illustrates the mature theme of race relationships during a tenuous time in history through Phillip and Timothy's unusual relationship in this book. Phillip is less than excited about relying on an old black man for food and shelter but slowly comes to appreciate Timothy as more than just a means for survival. The reader is drawn into the story by the compelling situation thrust upon the characters and will keep reading to find out if Phillip and Timothy will be rescued. The girls in the Battle of the Books group that I work with had their best discussion regarding this book. These 5th graders are the highest performing in their grade level, but I was still astonished to hear the following conclusion pour (without prompting) from the mouth of one student: "The reason they made him (Phillip) blind was to show the theme that the color of somebody's skin really doesn't matter... just like true friendship is blind." Gotta love those moments as a teacher! Two interesting facts about this book are that Theodore Taylor wrote it in only three weeks in 1969 and, appropriately, dedicated it to Martin Luther King Jr. Despite my reluctance to re-read this book, it turned out to be one of the best of the 40 books on the Battle list this year. A great book for any student old enough (and motivated enough) to tackle Timothy's island accent (the only real challenge of this quick read)!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abbey Cupcake

    It was good but in some parts it was sad

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Insane Psychopath Jane Volturi

    This book is...amazing. It makes you think of so many things. It makes you realize what truly is wrong with the world, and how messed up it was before.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ian Mclean

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Cay By Theodore Taylor Characters there are some characters in The Cay. Some are in the story more and some are featured in the story less. There are two main characters. The first ones name is Phillip he is 12 and he was always taught to look down on black people. He and his family live on the small island called Curacao off the coast of Venezuela, the year is 1942. Another main characters name is Timothy. He is Black male who saves Phillip from near death and is stranded on a island with The Cay By Theodore Taylor Characters there are some characters in The Cay. Some are in the story more and some are featured in the story less. There are two main characters. The first ones name is Phillip he is 12 and he was always taught to look down on black people. He and his family live on the small island called Curacao off the coast of Venezuela, the year is 1942. Another main characters name is Timothy. He is Black male who saves Phillip from near death and is stranded on a island with Phillip witch is kind of ironical if you ask me. There are also Phillips parents witch are the normal caring and loving parents. They are also concerned about his safety a lot, but what parents aren't. Plot The plot in The Cay is a very interesting one. It goes like this, A boy named Phillip and his family live on the island Curacao. The island is very small and in interest of German soldiers, World War 2 was in midway at the time. Phillip was always taught to look down on black people because most of them worked in the ship yard. Phillip and his family have tolerated the Germans on their island causing trouble, and cant take anymore. They find a way to get off the island and live back in America and wait for the war to settle down. Suddenly a torpedo smashes threw the hull of the boat their on. Everything is in dismay when Phillip is awake in the water on a raft with a old black man named timothy and they also have the main boats cat named Stew, And to make matters worse Phillip obtained a condition with his eye where he is blind They find a small island a have to adapt to the cruel weather conditions and Phillip also has to adapt to the fact that he is stranded with a black man. My favorite part is when Phillip looses his vision from staring at the sun to much and having a severe injure to his head. Conflict The conflict in this story of survival and friendship is a pretty classic one. A boy sets out to leave his home island because of its war ridden status. But his escape from the island did not go so well when a torpedo hits the boat they are on, the SS Hato. Then Phillip wakes up on a life raft with a very old black man and he soon gets a vision condition where he looses it for awhile. So they find a small island where they will struggle for food, fight against the weather conditions and struggle to survive and wait for their rescue, if they get one. Timothy also is slowly dieing from malaria, Getting weaker and weaker. Resolution The resolution is quick and easy. After surviving day after day of searching the island for their food and surviving terrible weather conditions like the heat, cold and even a huge tropical storm. Day after day of lighting signal fires and slowly waiting for a rescue from anybody out there looking for Phillip and timothy. American soldiers flew over and noticed Phillips signal fire. Sadly timothy died from Malaria and from saving Phillips life in the severe tropical storm that hit them. Setting The Setting in the book is very tropical and green. Lush environments soak your mind every chapter. You can smell the salt in the air and feel the mist on your face. The author really made the reader aware as you read The Cay. Sometimes it is gloomy and dark because of a storm but the next day its green and beautiful again.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    me: 5 stars son (age 10): 4.5 stars daughter (age 5): 5 stars This audio book was a winner with all of us! My son is currently interested in survival type stories, so I picked out a couple to listen to this month. This is the first of the two. This is the story of an 11 year old boy, Philip, who ends up stranded on a small remote island with an old West Indian man named Timothy, and a cat named Stew Cat after the ship they were on was torpedoed. To add to their worries over being stranded, Philip be me: 5 stars son (age 10): 4.5 stars daughter (age 5): 5 stars This audio book was a winner with all of us! My son is currently interested in survival type stories, so I picked out a couple to listen to this month. This is the first of the two. This is the story of an 11 year old boy, Philip, who ends up stranded on a small remote island with an old West Indian man named Timothy, and a cat named Stew Cat after the ship they were on was torpedoed. To add to their worries over being stranded, Philip became blind after being hit in the head during the disaster, so he has to rely on Timothy even more. Philip is weary of Timothy because he carries prejudices about black people, which Philip had learned from his mother. However, through the course of the book we see Philip's attitude toward Timothy change from cautiousness to one of friendship and bonding. And by the end of the book, I think we all had a few tears in our eyes. My son said he loved this book because it "had meaning" and contained "lots of action". My daughter said that she liked it because of how Timothy called Philip "young boss" and how Timothy told Philip that they would "make the sand talk". The audio book was excellent, clearly distinguishing the voices and accents of Philip and Timothy. We are excited to see if an audio book is available for the second book - Timothy of the Cay.

  13. 4 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    I read this book a LONG time ago, in elementary school (fifth or sixth grade?) and what drew me to it was the cover, with the old black man holding/cuddling the cat. As a cat person, I liked the cover, but was disappointed there wasn't more cat in the story :P There is not much I remember about this book because damn, trying to remember a book I read ages ago makes me feel like a old fart. This is a children's/YA book so it's a relatively quick read, with a nice ending and a message about not bei I read this book a LONG time ago, in elementary school (fifth or sixth grade?) and what drew me to it was the cover, with the old black man holding/cuddling the cat. As a cat person, I liked the cover, but was disappointed there wasn't more cat in the story :P There is not much I remember about this book because damn, trying to remember a book I read ages ago makes me feel like a old fart. This is a children's/YA book so it's a relatively quick read, with a nice ending and a message about not being racist.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Renee Armitage

    “The Cay” Renee Armitage 5th The Cay by Theodore Taylor .Phillip Enright is a young 11 year old boy living on a small island named Curacao in the middle of a war with the Germans .In this novel there are many hidden messages one of which is that you don’t live by sight. This novel is an inspiring “Castaway” like novel but with a racial twist. Phillip a small 11 year old white boy and Timothy is a large 70ish black man who are now trapped together with the cook’s cat named Stew Cat on a raft in the “The Cay” Renee Armitage 5th The Cay by Theodore Taylor .Phillip Enright is a young 11 year old boy living on a small island named Curacao in the middle of a war with the Germans .In this novel there are many hidden messages one of which is that you don’t live by sight. This novel is an inspiring “Castaway” like novel but with a racial twist. Phillip a small 11 year old white boy and Timothy is a large 70ish black man who are now trapped together with the cook’s cat named Stew Cat on a raft in the middle of the ocean, when they find a very small Cay (island) to land on but sadly after they are settled the island is attacked by a huge hurricane desolating everything in sight including Timothy leaving Phillip blind and alone on a destroyed with Stew Cat as his only company. The theme of this book is survival. The Cay was a memorable experience in the fact of the amazing character building Taylor managed to accomplish. Taylors message is not to judge a book by its cover. I agree that just because a man\woman comes off as cold or mean that does not mean the person really is. I disagree with very little but the one thing that made it hard to read is that Timothy spoke in ruff Jamaican which made it hard to understand in some parts. I liked the Cay but I could not read it again because of how my mind would spoil the ending. The Cay kind of retells the castaway scenario but with a better twist. My advice to potential readers is unless you can un-code the Jamaican language I would have it read to you because it is a little tricky to read in your head. I would recommend this book for 13 and up because of some of the content .In all this book was good but not great.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    SPOILERS 17/12 - A reasonably simple story of a young white boy, Phillip, who is marooned on a desert island with an older, black West Indian man, Timothy and the ship's cat. During the torpedo attack that sinks the ship they were travelling on Phillip receives a head injury that eventually steals his sight leaving him totally dependent on Timothy. To start with Phillip is quite rude to Timothy and tries to order him around, but he eventually comes to realise that while Timothy may talk different SPOILERS 17/12 - A reasonably simple story of a young white boy, Phillip, who is marooned on a desert island with an older, black West Indian man, Timothy and the ship's cat. During the torpedo attack that sinks the ship they were travelling on Phillip receives a head injury that eventually steals his sight leaving him totally dependent on Timothy. To start with Phillip is quite rude to Timothy and tries to order him around, but he eventually comes to realise that while Timothy may talk differently and may have lived a very different life than the one Phillip has known that doesn't make him a lesser man, no matter what his mother tried to teach him. I can see why this would be favourite with primary school teachers, it's full of themes about race, survival and WWII. With Timothy's help and the erection of a system of guide lines to help him get from one place to another Phillip becomes more and more independent until his blindness is barely a hindrance any more. After Timothy's death during a violent hurricane Phillip actually manages to become self-sufficient, feeding himself and resetting the signal fire which had been washed away by the hurricane. The ending was wrapped up very quickly, but I would have been interested to read how Phillip's mother had been rescued from the wreckage of the ship when it would have been so dangerous to send any ship or aircraft out. If I had the chance I would be interested in reading the sequel just to see what happened to Phillip after his rescue.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ilena Andaluz

    Would you like to know why this was a great book? This was a great book because it had interesting things that happens and big plot events that happens. Also, there were lots of sad parts that happened. So I guess this book was full of emotions. Overall that is why I like this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    A sweet and beautiful story about friendship and survival from two very unlikely but lovable companions.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)

    ~*Full review here on The Bent Bookworm!*~ I wasn’t at all sure what to expect going into this. I’d never heard of the book or the author despite it apparently being a “children’s classic” (??), but Gary Paulsen (didn’t we all read Hatchet?) wrote the introduction so I thought it surely couldn’t be too bad. I was super skeptical though, on reading the blurb…I mean, it’s clearly meant to be a demonstration of how we are all PEOPLE above whatever color our skin is, but I was concerned that a book w ~*Full review here on The Bent Bookworm!*~ I wasn’t at all sure what to expect going into this. I’d never heard of the book or the author despite it apparently being a “children’s classic” (??), but Gary Paulsen (didn’t we all read Hatchet?) wrote the introduction so I thought it surely couldn’t be too bad. I was super skeptical though, on reading the blurb…I mean, it’s clearly meant to be a demonstration of how we are all PEOPLE above whatever color our skin is, but I was concerned that a book written in 1969 might not be as socially aware as it was thought at the time of publication. It was an entertaining enough little story, if a little slow at times. The style is a little dated, and I think modern kids might get bored (my husband said it was a slog for him), but an avid reader would breeze through it. I’m still a little on the fence as far as the representation. Timothy, the black man who saves Phillip from the sinking ship, is West Indian and repeatedly described as ugly – it does seem that most of his ugliness in Phillip’s eyes is due to his age, though whenever Philip has a disagreement with Timothy he blames it on Timothy’s race. At first he agrees with his mother’s statement on black people, “They are different and they live differently. That’s the way it must be.” Gradually however, he changes his mind as he actually gets to know Timothy and Timothy cares for him week after week. It was definitely predictable, but the addition of Stew Cat was sweet and I loved how he and Philip were such good buddies. Timothy’s dialogue is ALL written in dialect, something that is not only (in my opinion) annoying to read but also tends to belittle the character speaking the lines. I understand it can and is sometimes only used as a device to help the reader imagine the way a character sounds – after all, there are a lot of different accents in the world – but it’s an older device and has fallen out of favor due to the frequent implication that the person is inferior in some way. Also, its use makes it more difficult for some of the intended audience to comprehend the dialogue. The dialect issue was probably my biggest one with the book, since by the time the resolution comes Philip has entirely revamped his view of black people (and we hope, of anyone else different from him). I was also bothered by another aspect of Timothy’s story, but can’t really discuss it without spoilers, so….I’ll just leave it at that. Overall, it was an okay book. I think there are much BETTER books on the market now, that would suit the purpose of helping privileged kids see outside of their world, but in 1969 this was probably pretty revolutionary. Blog | Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram | Google+

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Schiller

    I'll never forget the day (1975) my fourth grade class in St. Thomas discovered this book on our library shelves. One look at the cover and we all fought over it tooth and nail. Over the next several weeks, this was the most checked-out book in the school library. And for good reason. The protagonist, Phillip, was easily-relatable, and Timothy, the aged deckhand from Charlotte Amalie who saves his life, could have been any one of a number of old men we saw sitting around Emancipation Park, or ov I'll never forget the day (1975) my fourth grade class in St. Thomas discovered this book on our library shelves. One look at the cover and we all fought over it tooth and nail. Over the next several weeks, this was the most checked-out book in the school library. And for good reason. The protagonist, Phillip, was easily-relatable, and Timothy, the aged deckhand from Charlotte Amalie who saves his life, could have been any one of a number of old men we saw sitting around Emancipation Park, or over at Market Square, or playing dominoes on the waterfront. The fact is that Taylor's characters and settings were so real, they perfectly captured life in the Caribbean, something that had never really been attempted or accomplished by an American writer previously--and has not been duplicated since. I recommend this book as a present to a fourth or fifth grader, or to the fourth or fifth grader that still lives inside of you. The book is simply ageless and its Gandhian message of love and tolerance, timeless.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was another of those that sat on my childhood bookshelf. I loved the cover photo (which was of Timothy) but never read it until 5-10 years ago. I just finished audiobooking it and really loved it. Powerfully told, the author was a sailor, so he really knows his background. He is interviewed at the end of the audiobook and talks about his inspiration. It was great to hear him talk about the three weeks it took him to write the book (or as he puts it, 3 weeks for the book to write itself) and This was another of those that sat on my childhood bookshelf. I loved the cover photo (which was of Timothy) but never read it until 5-10 years ago. I just finished audiobooking it and really loved it. Powerfully told, the author was a sailor, so he really knows his background. He is interviewed at the end of the audiobook and talks about his inspiration. It was great to hear him talk about the three weeks it took him to write the book (or as he puts it, 3 weeks for the book to write itself) and "the real" Timothy, who was based on a Creole-Calypso guy Taylor knew named only Robbert (yes with two bs). This story is beautifully told and covers so well several important themes. A big surprise to the author was when one of his teacher readers told him he'd created the first blind (fictional, I presume) hero. She told him that when the book was printed in braille, it was an inspiration to blind children everywhere, who felt empowered at the thought that maybe they could do hard and great things on their own too. This one is a great coming of age story and is a classic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Terry

    I read this aloud to the kids. We stayed up until 11:00 Friday night: "Mom, just one more chapter. Please!" It's set during WWII in the Caribbean. An American boy and an elderly Caribbean man get stuck on a raft together when their boat is sunk by a German torpedo. Dis dialect be outrageous fun to read, bahss. I read this aloud to the kids. We stayed up until 11:00 Friday night: "Mom, just one more chapter. Please!" It's set during WWII in the Caribbean. An American boy and an elderly Caribbean man get stuck on a raft together when their boat is sunk by a German torpedo. Dis dialect be outrageous fun to read, bahss.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sample Student

    The Cay, written by Theodore Taylor, is a story set in 1942 during World War II. Phillip Enright, the 11 year-old main character, is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. He is a naive character, and since war has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand (p. 11)–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, his only The Cay, written by Theodore Taylor, is a story set in 1942 during World War II. Phillip Enright, the 11 year-old main character, is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. He is a naive character, and since war has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand (p. 11)–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, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. Phillip shows himself to also be prejudiced as he remembers his mother’s warning about black people: “They are different, and they live differently” (p. 37). But by the time the castaways arrive on a small island, Phillip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy. His blindness causes Phillip to become a stubborn character, as he continually blames Timothy for their misfortune (p. 49). Timothy and Phillip must now struggle to stay alive on this deserted island by battling outside forces and internal prejudices. The novel is written in first person point of view, with Phillip as the narrator. This allows the reader to gain insight into his thoughts, and see how he transforms throughout the course of the novel. Some of the important themes in this book involve struggling for survival, sacrificing for another person, and overcoming prejudice. The mood varies throughout the novel from tense in the midst of character conflicts, suspenseful during their struggles with mother nature, and at times tedious while the characters are stranded on the island. The most important quote from the book was spoken by Timothy on page 79: "Why b'feesh different color, or flower b'different color? I true don' know, Phill-eep, but I true tink beneath d'skin is all d'same." This quote addresses the issue of race and prejudice that Phillip struggles with throughout the novel. By saying these words, Timothy provides Phillip with a thought that could help him overcome the racism he has been raised with. The way in which I connect the most with Phillip is that we can learn how to do things quickly. Among other things, Phillip must learn how to weave sleeping mats (p. 49), navigate the island without his sight (p. 57), climb a palm tree (p. 77), and fish (p. 89). Although I am not blind, learning new skills comes quickly to me as well. Overall, I thought this was an interesting book. At first, the pace of the book was a bit slow, but as the tension between the characters builds, it starts to get more interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes survival stories, or stories about unlikely friendships. I give this book a 9/10 because of its excitement during the climax, and the unique dialogue provided by Timothy. It also focused on a little known part of World War II which I did not know about, but found very interesting. One final note: be prepared to work on your Jamaican accent if you plan to read this book! *SPOILER ALERT* The climax of the novel is when a dangerous hurricane hits the cay and Timothy and Phillip must struggle to survive. On page 94 it states, "Soon I felt water around my ankles. Then it washed to my knees. Timothy was taking the full blows of the storm, sheltering me with his body." This is the climax because it is the most intense point of the character vs. nature conflict that Timothy and Phillip experience throughout the novel. Unfortunately, after protecting Phillip from the storm, Timothy dies and Phillip is left to survive on the island alone. Eventually, Phillip is able to create a signal fire when planes are flying overhead, and he is rescued by an American battleship searching for German U-boats in the area. Phillip returns to Curacao a changed person.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Teri

    This one was a life changer for me. . . This is one of those rare stories that feels so complete it 's rolled around and around in my thoughts since we've finished it. Read it on a rainy day when you might be feeling sorry for yourself. I LOVED the development of Philip throughout the story; lots of authors strive to create a dynamic character that matures throughout the story, but this authors really does accomplish it, and brilliantly. It's the line in the story when Phillip hollers, "They've This one was a life changer for me. . . This is one of those rare stories that feels so complete it 's rolled around and around in my thoughts since we've finished it. Read it on a rainy day when you might be feeling sorry for yourself. I LOVED the development of Philip throughout the story; lots of authors strive to create a dynamic character that matures throughout the story, but this authors really does accomplish it, and brilliantly. It's the line in the story when Phillip hollers, "They've finally come for us Timothy!" that I think my heart actually broke. That was the moment I knew Phillip had finally made it; he'd finally learned to really love Timothy (a character so GRAND that I can't even begin to do him justice.) We listened to this on CD and loved the experience of hearing Timothy's musical Caribbean accent. It's a wonderful adventure story for anyone, (but especially if you need a great read for boys.) It's the next gift I'm purchasing for my husband's 14-year old brother, and I'll surely be adding it to our library. (Just a note: my girls' favorite chapter books to read individually are ones they have heard on CD. They choose to read really challenging books this way.) So glad to have this recommended on goodreads!!! (Thanks Missy!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marina

    This book is really interesting. If I where the author I would never come out with this idea. I love this book since the beginning. This book is about a boy named Philip who is in the middle of a war and his father is in the battle. One day his mother and father where talking and came up with the idea to go to live for a few months to a safer place. When they get on the ship a torpedo falls in the boat and he gets lost and separate with his mom and he gets lost in the sea with Timothy, a black m This book is really interesting. If I where the author I would never come out with this idea. I love this book since the beginning. This book is about a boy named Philip who is in the middle of a war and his father is in the battle. One day his mother and father where talking and came up with the idea to go to live for a few months to a safer place. When they get on the ship a torpedo falls in the boat and he gets lost and separate with his mom and he gets lost in the sea with Timothy, a black man who was boarding the same ship as Philip. They both land in an island all alone and help each other. Philip loses his sight after the bomb. They go through a lot of problems and different types of adventures in the lonely desert island. All they knew about the island is that they stated that the island was located in the Caribbean. They spent a lot of time in the island. After a few months a big hurrican3e happen to hit the island. If you want to know what happens to them read the book. I learned in this book that you shouldn’t judge people based on their color and ways of living.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    I thought that this book was a action and adventure excellence. While reading this book I realized skin color does not matter at all. The bond that Timothy and Phillip develop is a heart warming friendship. This story was about a ship wreck that brought two different types of people with two very different lives together. I would recommend this book to anybody. All ages would enjoy the crazy adventure Phillip over comes in life. He finds out that black people are nicer than he thought and are sm I thought that this book was a action and adventure excellence. While reading this book I realized skin color does not matter at all. The bond that Timothy and Phillip develop is a heart warming friendship. This story was about a ship wreck that brought two different types of people with two very different lives together. I would recommend this book to anybody. All ages would enjoy the crazy adventure Phillip over comes in life. He finds out that black people are nicer than he thought and are smarter then most people. Phillip and Timothy dish out the many days they were stuck at see to the many days stuck on a deserted island. I love this selection because of the big imapct it could bring on one persons life and teach the lesson that not many books can. The Germans lead these two strangers to each other and turn them into brothers. This would have to be one of my most favorite books of all time. Strategy and knowledge can get you anywhere is how I view this book and the story that Theodore Taaylor has to tell.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    “I remember smiling in the darkness. He felt neither white or black.” Award-winning young readers novel set in the Caribbean Sea during World War Two. A white boy and an old black sailor man find themselves adrift with little hope of rescue … and the boy is blind. “Voodoo is silly, I knew, but also frightening.” Published in 1969, this is good story telling. The eleven-year-old protagonist sounds and feels real. His attitudes and reactions ring true. He grows … a lot. “But dis year [1942], d’sea is “I remember smiling in the darkness. He felt neither white or black.” Award-winning young readers novel set in the Caribbean Sea during World War Two. A white boy and an old black sailor man find themselves adrift with little hope of rescue … and the boy is blind. “Voodoo is silly, I knew, but also frightening.” Published in 1969, this is good story telling. The eleven-year-old protagonist sounds and feels real. His attitudes and reactions ring true. He grows … a lot. “But dis year [1942], d’sea is angry wis all d’death upon it. D’wahr.” The text is straight-forward and should be easily read by young readers, except the pidgin spoken by Timothy. While Taylor’s dialogue captures some of the lilt of Caribbean, it makes hard reading. The dialect could have been eased, reflecting Phillip’s greater understanding of Timothy’s tongue. “Timothy are you still black?” Many good lessons about life and death. All its recognition justified. “Take him, God, he was so good to me.”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erin Forson

    Sometimes it's fun to pick up a favorite old novel so that you can savor the experience of loving the words the author has written all over again. The Cay is a novel like this. I first read The Cay perhaps fifteen years ago, a novel that I remember was outstanding and filled with action, but I couldn't quite remember why it stuck in my heart. I checked The Cay out during spring break to read over again, and I was not disappointed. Phillip Enright, a spoiled little white boy, is stranded on a tin Sometimes it's fun to pick up a favorite old novel so that you can savor the experience of loving the words the author has written all over again. The Cay is a novel like this. I first read The Cay perhaps fifteen years ago, a novel that I remember was outstanding and filled with action, but I couldn't quite remember why it stuck in my heart. I checked The Cay out during spring break to read over again, and I was not disappointed. Phillip Enright, a spoiled little white boy, is stranded on a tiny island (a cay) with a black man named Timothy during World War II. Phillip's mother always taught him that "black folks have their place and we white folks have ours." Now Philip must decide whether to ignore his mother's advice and accept Timothy for the man he is, or to continue to treat Timothy as a lesser human being.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Full review at Smoke & Mirrors: http://books-n-music.blogspot.com/201.... Stayed up too late last night finishing this one, but I couldn't stop!! I thought I would just read a few pages before going to bed, but that turned into reading the rest of the book! This is so very poignant! I can only imagine the shock of those who arrived on the island. I was very glad for the ending. I had remembered the death, but had forgotten the cure! :) I can see why I loved this as a child and I loved it just as Full review at Smoke & Mirrors: http://books-n-music.blogspot.com/201.... Stayed up too late last night finishing this one, but I couldn't stop!! I thought I would just read a few pages before going to bed, but that turned into reading the rest of the book! This is so very poignant! I can only imagine the shock of those who arrived on the island. I was very glad for the ending. I had remembered the death, but had forgotten the cure! :) I can see why I loved this as a child and I loved it just as much now if not more! :) Review post on the blog to come!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Completely Melanie

    Review on my Wrap Up Vlog https://youtu.be/OOcKZ5f0UWc Review on my Wrap Up Vlog https://youtu.be/OOcKZ5f0UWc

  30. 4 out of 5

    Akira

    I’m so glad I decided to read this childhood favorite again. It’s such a beautiful tale that truly makes a home in your heart ♥️, and it still makes me tear up which honestly very few books ever manage to do. The way the author combines literal and figurative circumstances to fit the moral take away is done with such natural ease and finesse that you don’t mind how short the tale is or the details left out because it’s perfect for its intended audience as stated by the quote at the start of the I’m so glad I decided to read this childhood favorite again. It’s such a beautiful tale that truly makes a home in your heart ♥️, and it still makes me tear up which honestly very few books ever manage to do. The way the author combines literal and figurative circumstances to fit the moral take away is done with such natural ease and finesse that you don’t mind how short the tale is or the details left out because it’s perfect for its intended audience as stated by the quote at the start of the book 📖. I had the joy of getting to read this as a school book 📚 so my hope is that it’s still finding its way as it was always hoped to into the hands & hearts of many young ones. If you didn’t get to read it in your youth don’t fret it’s still enjoyable & just as profound for adults as well ♥️

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.