Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 4 - 8V5.326145
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 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.

“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
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published on December 17, 1987 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0385079060
ISBN-13: 9780385079068
69 Book Reviews
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  • megnog
    megnogThursday, October 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm44 stars
    I can connect The Cay to other books I have read because it is placed in the time of world war 2. It reels you in rapidly and has you attached . It has an amazing base and you get interested the more you read.
    • bt21isawsome
      bt21isawsomeThursday, October 17, 2019 at 1:41 pm44 stars
      I think it was an ok book it got boring at times and sometimes I would get confused. It is a very touching story though and can teach life lessons. It has a good lesson in the book to.
      • reiley628576
        reiley628576Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm44 stars
        I really like this book because it is a very loving and sad story.It is about a boy named Phillip and he is one a boat with is mother.The boat gets bombed and Phillip gets separated from his mother and is on a raft with a black man named, Timothy.If you want to know what happens to Phillip and Timothy you should read the book.I think that some people can connect to this book but I personally didn't connect to this book.I still think you should read this book.
        • ekatsaros
          ekatsarosThursday, October 17, 2019 at 11:56 am44 stars
          I gave it a 4 star book because some things weren't that interesting. But when they got on the cay it was getting to be a better book because they talked about what they did each day.The day that Phillip got blind it was pretty sad, he got through that and it would probably be really hard walking on the cay blind. Even when Timothy died it would probably be even harder than just being blind because you can't see and you in the middle of no where on a little tiny cay.I connected too the book by when Phillip was on the cay and felt lonely because Timothy die, I feel lonely when I'm home alone because there is no one with me.
          • mimiv
            mimivThursday, October 17, 2019 at 11:52 am33 stars
            I liked this book because it was interesting and suspenseful. At sometimes it was that interesting but overall it was good. Phillip is stranded on a Cay blind with a man named Timothy and huge storm comes a that's where the main climax happens.
            • mimiv
              mimivThursday, October 17, 2019 at 11:43 am33 stars
              I really liked this book because it was interesting and it had some suspenseful moments. It sometimes got boring at times but overall it was really good. I don't really relate I have never read a book like this.
              • joshua54321
                joshua54321Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:32 am55 stars
                I rate this book a 5 star because it is a great book that can make you happy and sad at times. It also is a great historical fiction book if you are writing a report I would recommend this book. I make only 1 connection and that was the start of the book. Phillip ,one of the main characters, he didn't like the plan that his parents made. Sometimes when my parents plan to go somewhere I try to tell them that I don't want to but they force me to go. A summary basically would be where Phillip lives was not safe and his parents wanted him to be safe. His parents decided that Phillip and his mom to go to Norfolk. They go on a ship and they get torpedoed, Phillip got knocked out and woke up to be on a raft with Timothy. They survived 4 days on the on the raft and while they were on the raft Phillip became blind. Timothy found a cay which they survived on for a while. A hurricane hit them and Timothy died which made Phillip alone. Phillip survived some how and somebody found him on the cay. They sent him back to his home and everything was back to normal.
                • 22trans
                  22transThursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:24 am33 stars
                  This book was very interesting to read. It had a good meaning. Where a young American boy had to stay on a cay (island) with an African-American wise guy. The reason why I would rate this book 3 stars is because the book was interesting and left me wanting to read more, but I didn't like how the book was against one color of someone.
                  • mwyso
                    mwysoWednesday, October 16, 2019 at 6:01 pm
                    The book was not something I would read for fun. It was OK, but it got boring at some times. I liked the ending though. It had a great touch and gave you some little details about what will happen in the next book.
                    • CbearWednesday, October 16, 2019 at 3:49 pm
                      We are reading this book at school and its amazing I am going to recommend it.