BOOK NAME: The Cay
AUTHOR: Theodore Taylor
Imagine being stranded on an isolated island unable to even see where you are. The Cay by Theodore Taylor depicts such a life. This book shows that one should never take advantage of another’s help.
Phillip, an 11 year old boy is living on the island of Curacao during World War II. When the war comes firsthand in the Caribbean, Phillip’s worried mom wants to go back to their home in safe Virginia, U.S.A. However their ship to the U.S. is torpedoed. Phillip is lost at sea on a raft with only a black man Timothy and a cat named Stew. Soon Philip gets blind due to a head injury. They arrive on a barren island, or cay. Timothy teaches Phillip how to survive on his own without his eyesight and Phillip grows more mature. Phillip has grown up learning that blacks are different, but he now realizes that that doesn’t affect the wisdom and intelligence of his guardian, Timothy. Will Phillip and Timothy ever be rescued from this island?
This book filled with adventure is one you would want to read. The author has brought Timothy’s voice by spelling words in the calypso accent making his character sound strong, rich, and powerful, like, “Why b’feesh different color, or flower b’different color? I true don’ know, Philleep, but I true tink beneath d’skin is all d’same” (79). The survival techniques that Timothy shows Phillip are very useful and portray how barren islands can be lifesaving, too. It’s interesting to read how Phillip matures because of Timothy’s influence.