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The Cay by Theodore Taylor

The Cay (1969)

by Theodore Taylor

Series: The Cay (1)

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3,047702,804 (3.86)39

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Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
I really liked Theodore Taylor's book 'The Cay'. I enjoyed how the author was able to put 'The Cay' into a narrated view of a boy's crazy life during World War II. The author also used figurative language throughout many scenes. These details made me as the reader picture what the characters were going through. I noticed the two main characters had a very strong connection. When they were separated, I felt for them both. Overall, I enjoyed this sad and fascinating book very much. Five out of five stars. ( )
  KateB.G1 | Mar 27, 2019 |
I follow Hatchet read aloud, with The Cay. They are similar stories in survival, however, Brian in Hatchet is by himself in Canada, and Phillip is with Timothy, an elderly black man, and Stew Cat, a cat, on and island in the Cays. I thought the book was ok, but my students really enjoy it. It could be the awful Norwegian/West Indies accent I have to produce while reading for Timothy. ( )
  mandieh | Jan 16, 2019 |
Just another story I love to read. I've read this little adventure half-a-dozen times and still enjoy it. ( )
  RobertaLea | Dec 7, 2018 |
(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.

Of course we do not want to perpetuate racism or stereotypes. But our history is our history. And sometimes we have to face it, even in forms that were once considered benign. Why the books were published in the first place and what this says about the prevailing society is a question worth asking, however. That discussion is what can make them pertinent.

I still vividly recall one favorite book with absolutely brilliant illustrations done by the author. In the era of my childhood, it was wonderful to read about the friendship between a white American kid and and a black man. It was one of those battered-spine books even then. The stereotypes now so obvious to me were not on my screen when I was ten, mostly because I longed for adventures and a friend like that. It was a book that took me to another world. In other words, despite what I now see as cringe-worthy aspects of the story, the abiding lesson I drew in childhood was that friends come from unexpected places, from across cultures, and from across races. Not a bad place to start.

When I was ten I was blazing through Tolkien, Lewis, and Lloyd Alexander; for me they were not only stomping great stories. I also drew massive, permanent lessons from them about strength of character, perseverance, good and evil. In those old pre-Internet days at age ten I'd no idea that Tolkien and Lewis knew each other, no idea of any religious undertones or subtleties. When I re-read them now through my prism of a long life lived, I still thoroughly enjoy them while being much more aware. It's a different experience - that is not to say a negative one, but an additional one. Childhood reading is like hearing a great song for the very first time. It's free, exuberant, entirely unfettered. I too understand the dismay expressed by some modern readers. ( )
  antao | Dec 2, 2018 |
Love this book. Includes a young boy and an old man who get lost at sea. The old man turns into a moral compass and father figure for the young boy. A story of courage and survival. ( )
  dgillu1 | Oct 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Mary Purucker (KLIATT Review, July 2005 (Vol. 39, No. 4))
Twelve-year-old Philip's ordeal as a castaway after the ship he was on was torpedoed in 1942 has never lost its appeal as a strong survival tale with two strong characters. When German submarines increase their activity off the coast of Venezuela, Philip's mother insists that the two of them leave the island of Curacao where his father works for an oil refinery, but she refuses to fly and they take passage on a ship. Not many days go by before they are blown out of the water and Philip finds himself on a raft with a gigantic elderly black man and the ship's cat. His mother's prejudices at first make him uncomfortable with Timothy, but he learns to love and respect him. Suffering from a severe blow to his head, in a few days Philip becomes totally blind and totally dependent on Timothy. When they finally land on a small island, a cay, Timothy teaches him the skills to survive even if he is left alone. Michael Boatman narrates in a straightforward way, easily giving Phillip a slight Southern accent and Timothy's voice a West Indian flavor. The pacing and timing are perfect as the pair battle the elements, get to know each other, and prepare for potential rescue. Category: Fiction Audiobooks. KLIATT Codes: J*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior high school students. 2005 (orig. 1969), Listening Library, 3 cds. 3 hrs.; Vinyl; plot, author, reader notes., $30.00. Ages 12 to 15.

added by kthomp25 | editKLIATT Review, Mary Purucker
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To Dr. King's dream, which can only come true if the very young know and understand it.
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Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness of the sea, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 044022912X, Mass Market Paperback)

This award-winning novel remains a powerful classic of prejudice, love, and survival. In 1942, 11-year-old Phillip Enright lives with his parents on the Dutch island of Curaçao, but when the war moves too close for comfort, his mother decides to travel with him back to the safety of Virginia. When their boat is torpedoed, however, Phillip is blinded and finds himself adrift on a life raft with an old black man and a cat. They eventually land on a deserted island. Phillip is suspicious of "the large Negro," but soon grows to trust--and ultimately love--the patient and generous Timothy. Dedicated to "Dr. King's Dream," The Cay has a clear message that friendship is colorblind; it is also a terrific adventure story of a young, newly blinded man learning to survive on an uninhabited island. (Ages 12 and older) --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:57 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.… (more)

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Average: (3.86)
0.5 1
1 6
1.5 2
2 24
2.5 3
3 92
3.5 14
4 139
4.5 19
5 110

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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