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
71 Book Reviews
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  • 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.
      • addyl97
        addyl97Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 3:37 pm55 stars
        This book is not only a great and an interesting read. But is has a true life lesson also. It displays a young boy, Phillip and an old but wise man of the opposite color named Timothy. It is truly a good and satisfying story. Theodore Taylor takes a plain and simple statement that we are all the same under the skin and illustrates it with a devastatingly simple story.
        • casrui1
          casrui1Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 2:42 pm55 stars
          This was an exciting and thrilling book I read. It teaches a lesson to not judge people on the outside and listen to them in the inside! It had me on the edge of the seat every time I was reading a chapter. If you wanna know why I was on the edge of my seat you should read this book! Emotional, Happiness,Caring,and Heart Warming
          • nick21dogdo
            nick21dogdoWednesday, October 16, 2019 at 7:03 am
            this book is about a young boy and a Black man trying to survive on a cay. The black man is named timothy and the kid is named philip. Philip later becomes blind on the raft. They end-up having to survive a hurricane soon timothy dies. If you like learning about survival stuff you should read this book.
            • bookwave
              bookwaveTuesday, October 15, 2019 at 6:57 am55 stars
              I really liked the thrill and twists. This book is very emotional and very realistic. I was sad when Timothy died, but that helped Philip become independent. I recommend this book to 5th-6th graders with a love for reading. 5 stars out of 5.
              • sophs
                sophsMonday, October 14, 2019 at 6:32 pm55 stars
                I liked it because it show the journey of a native american and a white person. And it about how Phillip (white person) and Timothy ( native american) are on a boat and it gets under attack. They end yp on a raft for a week and they have to survive on a cay. If you want more details you will have to read the cay. (I recommend it )
                • jayden6924
                  jayden6924Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 6:48 pm44 stars
                  I liked this book a lot. This book inspired me that just because I hang out with the opposite skin color does't mean anything. This story focuses on a boy named Phillip Enright. He moves with his mom by a ship (The Hato) and it gets torpedoed. He meets this man named Timothy who is the opposite skin tone of Phillip. Timothy helps Phillip survive on a small cay. Timothy ends up dying by a hurricane. At the end of the book, Phillip regains his sight after going under 3 operations. I can relate to Phillip because he doesn't want to move away from his hometown that much.
                  • cmansell
                    cmansellThursday, October 10, 2019 at 11:42 am33 stars
                    The cay is sad, depressing, and boring. It's not bad, but it's not the best.
                    • olive_tree18
                      olive_tree18Friday, October 4, 2019 at 8:12 am55 stars
                      This book has a very good moral to it. It is about a boy named Phillip who was living a normal life. He went on a boat with his mother to move. The boat gets torpedoed and Phillip finds himself on a raft with a man of his opposite color. (Phillip is white) They eventually form a very special relationship with each other after surviving together for many months. If you are a type of person who likes books that have emotions, then I strongly recommend this book for you.