The Cay
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The Cay

3.75 (29,114 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

For fans of Hatchet and Island of the Blue Dolphins comes Theodore Taylor's classic bestseller and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award winner, The Cay.
Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Cura ao. 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. "Mr. Taylor has provided an exciting story...The idea that all humanity would benefit from this special form of color blindness permeates the whole book...The result is a story with a high ethical purpose but no sermon."--New York Times Book Review

"A taut tightly compressed story of endurance and revelation...At once barbed and tender, tense and fragile--as Timothy would say, 'outrageous good.'"--Kirkus Reviews

* "Fully realized setting...artful, unobtrusive use of dialect...the representation of a hauntingly deep love, the poignancy of which is rarely achieved in children's literature."--School Library Journal, Starred

"Starkly dramatic, believable and compelling."--Saturday Review

"A tense and moving experience in reading."--Publishers Weekly

"Eloquently underscores the intrinsic brotherhood of man."--Booklist

"This is one of the best survival stories since Robinson Crusoe."--The Washington Star

- A New York Times Best Book of the Year
- A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
- A Horn Book Honor Book
- An American Library Association Notable Book
- A Publishers Weekly Children's Book to Remember
- A Child Study Association's Pick of Children's Books of the Year
- Jane Addams Book Award
- Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
- Commonwealth Club of California: Literature Award
- Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award
- Woodward School Annual Book Award
- Friends of the Library Award, University of California at Irvine
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Paperback | 137 pages
  • 106 x 174 x 11mm | 80g
  • New York, NY, Australia
  • English
  • 044022912X
  • 9780440229124
  • 79,724

Flap copy

Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaao. 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.

"From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Review quote

Praise for The Cay "Mr. Taylor has provided an exciting story...The idea that all humanity would benefit from this special form of color blindness permeates the whole book...The result is a story with a high ethical purpose but no sermon."--New York Times Book Review

"A taut tightly compressed story of endurance and revelation...At once barbed and tender, tense and fragile--as Timothy would say, 'outrageous good.'"--Kirkus Reviews

* "Fully realized setting...artful, unobtrusive use of dialect...the representation of a hauntingly deep love, the poignancy of which is rarely achieved in children's literature."--School Library Journal, Starred

"Starkly dramatic, believable and compelling."--Saturday Review

"A tense and moving experience in reading."--Publishers Weekly

"Eloquently underscores the intrinsic brotherhood of man."--Booklist

"This is one of the best survival stories since Robinson Crusoe."--The Washington Star

- A New York Times Best Book of the Year
- A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
- A Horn Book Honor Book
- An American Library Association Notable Book
- A Publishers Weekly Children's Book to Remember
- A Child Study Association's Pick of Children's Books of the Year
- Jane Addams Book Award
- Lewis Carroll Shelf Award
- Commonwealth Club of California: Literature Award
- Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young People Award
- Woodward School Annual Book Award
- Friends of the Library Award, University of California at Irvine
show more

About Theodore Taylor

Theodore Taylor wrote several award-winning books, including The Cay, which won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award and was made into a movie. He began his writing career at the age of thirteen and continued on from there--books, articles, scripts--often several projects at once. He passed away in 2006 surrounded by his family, his books, and years of wonderful memories.
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Rating details

29,114 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 28% (8,124)
4 34% (9,854)
3 27% (7,790)
2 8% (2,435)
1 3% (911)

Our customer reviews

Reason for Reading: This is another book from the Randomly Selected Bookshelf that I am reading from this year. I\'m pretty sure I\'ve read this before but it must have been as a kid, because I didn\'t really remember the story. My son loves shipwreck/survival stories so this one will definitely be going in the bedtime reading pile for his dad to read to him. Phillip is twelve and lives in the West Indies, has ever since he was four, on the island of Curacao. World War II is in full swing, the year is 1940 and the West Indies have refineries which are supplying gas, kerosene, etc. But the German U-Boats have finally come to strike this important part of the Allied War Effort. Phillip\'s mother has always hated it here and wanted to go back to Virginia; she also is very prejudiced against the black people and tells Phillip her racist thoughts frequently, though he has never seen her point. He enjoys going down to the docks and watching the West Islanders work and talking to them. After the bombing she insists that it is time she take Philip back home but their ship is torpedoed and Philip ends up on a raft with a \"Negro\", Timothy. Philip has been injured on the back of the head by something very hard and goes in and out of consciousness, though he soon gets better except for the sore head. Part of the story tells of their survival on the raft, they have water and food which Timothy rations strictly. Their relationship is strained. Timothy doesn\'t talk much, works to keep them alive and is often blunt and to the point, though never rude. Philip takes this the wrong way, starts to think maybe his mother is right and blacks are different, which makes Philip take a haughty tone with Philip. The second part of the story deals with their survival on the uninhabited little island they drift upon. It has no fresh water and they depend on the rain, but food is plentiful. Philips eyesight starts to go grey until he is eventually goes blind but before this happens he and Timothy have an argument where Philip calls him racial names. Their strained relationship is at an apex. Philip\'s blindness creates an entire new meaning to the word survival and with the whole world dark he reexamines what black and white mean. This is a fantastic story of survival, friendship, race relations, love and truth. The book has a few exciting moments when extreme events happen but mostly it is a more realistic, quiet, day in, day out, survival story where the relationship between Timothy and Phillip is as much what the story is about as how they manage to survive so long on that island. A good book. One that boys will especially enjoy. Also recommended for older reluctant readers because of its mature storyline and short number of pages.show more
by Nicola Mansfield
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