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
73 Book Reviews
  • Little Buckover 2 years
    I kind of like this book. It was not very interesting and had some boring parts. I think the way Philip thought of Timothy was very rude. I do not like that Phillip was so mean to Timothy, because he was black. My best friend ever is black and I do not care. It is rude to not like others just because of the color of their skin. Overall, this book is not my favorite, and certainly not my type. Though I guess I would recommend this book.
    • calebod6_aretro
      calebod6_aretroalmost 3 years44 stars
      I liked this book because it was SO enjoyable to read. It not only caught my attention at the beginning, but my interest stayed with it throughout the book. It had some boring parts, yes, but overall, this is one of my favorite books! In conclusion, I gave this book a 4 star rating because it had way more interesting parts than boring parts.
      • cmansell
        cmansellalmost 3 years33 stars
        I think it's nice, but I don't think it's the right one for me. I don't think that the book has enough information I want to read more, but I don't. I don't think living naked on a cay is fun. I don't really want to know about two naked guys getting stuck on a cay for a couple of months. There wasn't enough details and information either. Those are my reasons.
        • acalzoa
          acalzoaabout 3 years44 stars
          I'm giving the book about a 4 it was a good book, the was one reason I didn't give it a 5 it was hard for me to understand and so of the words i did not understand. It has great information about it that why you should read the cay
          • nnenna
            nnennaabout 3 years33 stars
            I gave this book a three-star rating because it is a good book but it is not something I would read. I would defiantly recommend this book to someone else. it was a good book but just not the type I would read.
            • russellolchawa
              russellolchawaabout 3 years55 stars
              this book is about Phillip ,Phillip lives on a small island in Curacao they have to move because WW2 is going on and it is going to be fighting they thought in their town so then they take a boat to go to somewhere else but then the ship gets torpedoed and it blows up Phillip ends up waking up on a raft with a black man so then he dosent like him at first so then they end up finding an island and they go there and it is small they get food shelter and water so then there is a hurricane hitting the island so then after the storm Timothy dies form being worn out i didnt connect to this book because nothing like this happend to me before i rated it a 5 star because it was interesting and scary and sad it was very good
              • jalen30214
                jalen30214about 3 years44 stars
                I give this book a four star because it shows how to live during hard times. It shows the struggle between Phillip and Timothy. Phillip's mother said to never go around black people. Phillip is blind, and Timothy gets Malaria and he goes running around everywhere. I think you should read this book because it seemed interesting.
                • ahinoanime
                  ahinoanimeabout 3 years44 stars
                  I give this book a 4 star rating, because the Cay told a story about a boy who has difficulties when trying to move different countries .The words were a bit too hard to understand when not being told what they mean beforehand, but the book was interesting with two people being stuck on a cay and finding out how to use natures materials.
                  • nnenna
                    nnennaabout 3 years33 stars
                    The reason why I rated this book a 3 is that it was a good book, but it is not something I would usually read. It was a book about a boy named Phillip who got stuck on a cay with a black name named Timothy. They have to figure out how to survive and get saved. In total, I would recommend this book to somebody, because I enjoyed it. It may not be something I would usually read but it was good.
                    • sheashea
                      sheasheaabout 3 years55 stars
                      Theodore Taylor writes an amazing story about a young boy Phillip, and a man named Timothy that endured a terrible incident. Phillip had to overcome the racism he had been taught for years to rely on Phillip. Phillip used his life skills to keep them both alive as they were stranded. It is an exciting story of trust, an unlikely friendship and perseverance. I can relate to this story because I can find friendship in anyone that is trustworthy and honest.