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The Cay (The Cay #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  26,806 Ratings  ·  2,005 Reviews
Read 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
Paperback, 156 pages
Published April 8th 2003 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1969)
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Andrea Before Phillip was swept away, he had one friend named Henrik Van Boven.
When he was washed ashore, he met Timothy. From how far I read it, I think…more
Before Phillip was swept away, he had one friend named Henrik Van Boven.
When he was washed ashore, he met Timothy. From how far I read it, I think Phillip considered Timothy a friend, along with Timothy's cat, Stew (cat). (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Helen Pontak
Sep 02, 2007 Helen Pontak rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adventure loving people
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A. Dawes
Jun 11, 2016 A. Dawes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This was our Grade 6 novel and it was the first book that had me in tears.
Young Phillip's is on a freighter, which is blown up. Blinded, he only has a cat and an elderly Black West Indian, Timothy, with him on the small raft of survivors. Phillip, as per the era, has been 'warned' about the vast differences between Whites and Blacks. Yet when they arrive on the island, it is the West Indian who shows courage, grit and warmth to help them survive for the time being .
I won't spoil it, but it's
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Gaaaah. Hated it. Had to read it for seventh grade english class. I couldn't stand the main character; he was such a brat. the end of the book was sooo predictable. the only good character was the cat. haha
Mary Grace
This is the best book eva!!!!! It is so sweet! I cried my eyes out at the end though!
Nov 10, 2007 Jen rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jen by: D'Ette Marceaux
D'Ette had to read this book for school and she loved it. She asked me if I would also read it.

It's a children's book, so it doesn't take long to read. I read the whole thing in about two hours.

It's easy to see why the book won literary awards and was made into a movie. It's a great story, told from the point-of-view of 12-year-old Philip, who gets lost at sea with a black man after the boat he is traveling in with his mother is attacked by Germans. Philip loses his sight and is forced to learn
The Insane Psychopath Jane Volturi
This book is...amazing. It makes you think of so many things. It makes you realize what truly is wrong with the world, and how messed up it was before.
Abbey Cupcake
Apr 08, 2009 Abbey Cupcake rated it really liked it
It was good but in some parts it was sad
Ian Mclean
Apr 12, 2010 Ian Mclean rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

17/12 - A reasonably simple story of a young white boy, Phillip, who is marooned on a desert island with an older, black West Indian man, Timothy and the ship's cat. During the torpedo attack that sinks the ship they were travelling on Phillip receives a head injury that eventually steals his sight leaving him totally dependent on Timothy. To start with Phillip is quite rude to Timothy and tries to order him around, but he eventually comes to realise that while Timothy may talk different
Jan 24, 2017 Linda rated it it was amazing
me: 5 stars
son (age 10): 4.5 stars
daughter (age 5): 5 stars

This audio book was a winner with all of us! My son is currently interested in survival type stories, so I picked out a couple to listen to this month. This is the first of the two.

This is the story of an 11 year old boy, Philip, who ends up stranded on a small remote island with an old West Indian man named Timothy, and a cat named Stew Cat after the ship they were on was torpedoed. To add to their worries over being stranded, Philip be
Marika Gillis
I read this book with my students when I was a 5th grade teacher in Virginia... four times. However, I don't remember enjoying the book as much then as I did this year.

A 12-year-old boy, Phillip, and an old black sailor, Timothy, are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island after their boat is attacked by the Germans near Curacao during World War II. Phillip has been blinded as a result of the shipwreck and must rely on Timothy to help him survive on the island.

Theodore Taylor effectively illustrate
Renee Armitage
Dec 14, 2013 Renee Armitage rated it liked it
“The Cay”
Renee Armitage
The Cay by Theodore Taylor .Phillip Enright is a young 11 year old boy living on a small island named Curacao in the middle of a war with the Germans .In this novel there are many hidden messages one of which is that you don’t live by sight. This novel is an inspiring “Castaway” like novel but with a racial twist. Phillip a small 11 year old white boy and Timothy is a large 70ish black man who are now trapped together with the cook’s cat named Stew Cat on a raft in the
Sophie Schiller
May 08, 2012 Sophie Schiller rated it it was amazing
I'll never forget the day (1975) my fourth grade class in St. Thomas discovered this book on our library shelves. One look at the cover and we all fought over it tooth and nail. Over the next several weeks, this was the most checked-out book in the school library. And for good reason. The protagonist, Phillip, was easily-relatable, and Timothy, the aged deckhand from Charlotte Amalie who saves his life, could have been any one of a number of old men we saw sitting around Emancipation Park, or ov ...more
Nov 07, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Terry
Feb 07, 2010 Rachel Terry rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvie
I read this aloud to the kids. We stayed up until 11:00 Friday night: "Mom, just one more chapter. Please!"

It's set during WWII in the Caribbean. An American boy and an elderly Caribbean man get stuck on a raft together when their boat is sunk by a German torpedo. Dis dialect be outrageous fun to read, bahss.
Feb 20, 2017 mya rated it did not like it
This was so shit
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing
A sweet and beautiful story about friendship and survival from two very unlikely but lovable companions.
Sample Student
Feb 17, 2016 Sample Student rated it it was amazing
The Cay, written by Theodore Taylor, is a story set in 1942 during World War II. Phillip Enright, the 11 year-old main character, is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. He is a naive character, and since war has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand (p. 11)–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 ...more
This one was a life changer for me. . . This is one of those rare stories that feels so complete it 's rolled around and around in my thoughts since we've finished it. Read it on a rainy day when you might be feeling sorry for yourself.

I LOVED the development of Philip throughout the story; lots of authors strive to create a dynamic character that matures throughout the story, but this authors really does accomplish it, and brilliantly. It's the line in the story when Phillip hollers, "They've
Nov 17, 2009 Marina rated it it was amazing

This book is really interesting. If I where the author I would never come out with this idea. I love this book since the beginning. This book is about a boy named Philip who is in the middle of a war and his father is in the battle. One day his mother and father where talking and came up with the idea to go to live for a few months to a safer place. When they get on the ship a torpedo falls in the boat and he gets lost and separate with his mom and he gets lost in the sea with Timothy, a black m
I thought that this book was a action and adventure excellence. While reading this book I realized skin color does not matter at all. The bond that Timothy and Phillip develop is a heart warming friendship. This story was about a ship wreck that brought two different types of people with two very different lives together. I would recommend this book to anybody. All ages would enjoy the crazy adventure Phillip over comes in life. He finds out that black people are nicer than he thought and are sm ...more
Erin Forson
Dec 09, 2011 Erin Forson rated it it was amazing
Sometimes it's fun to pick up a favorite old novel so that you can savor the experience of loving the words the author has written all over again. The Cay is a novel like this. I first read The Cay perhaps fifteen years ago, a novel that I remember was outstanding and filled with action, but I couldn't quite remember why it stuck in my heart. I checked The Cay out during spring break to read over again, and I was not disappointed. Phillip Enright, a spoiled little white boy, is stranded on a tin ...more
Nov 16, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Full review at Smoke & Mirrors: Stayed up too late last night finishing this one, but I couldn't stop!! I thought I would just read a few pages before going to bed, but that turned into reading the rest of the book! This is so very poignant! I can only imagine the shock of those who arrived on the island. I was very glad for the ending. I had remembered the death, but had forgotten the cure! :) I can see why I loved this as a child and I loved it jus ...more
Lisbeth Solberg
Sep 17, 2007 Lisbeth Solberg rated it it was ok
Having previously noted the imagery of this version's cover, it was difficult to ignore the homoeroticism of the hurricane scene. It was like a Barbie rescue fantasy only with Ken and Alan--crushed together, whipped naked by the storm, sticky with body fluids in the exhausted aftermath--I'm not kidding. Can you tell I teach middle school?
Oct 28, 2009 sal added it
Recommended to sal by: Mrs. Spomer
Just came across this book today! So glad to see this book is read and loved by others.

I read this book with my 5th grade classmates during Mrs. Spomer's reading lesson. I believe we had a class copy (maybe with purple cover art?), but I also remember hearing it in a "story time" format.
I don't remember much about it, but reading the synopsis, it brought a lot of memories. The main kid becomes blind during the novel, and he has to make a friend in Timothy. I always liked Timothy, and I thought
Annie McMahon
Oct 08, 2012 Annie McMahon rated it really liked it
Positive Points
This book has an interesting, unique plot. A boy becomes blind after getting stranded on an island with an old man called Timothy and a cat. Their friendship grows based on their need to survive in the wild.

I really loved the old man's personality. Instead of pitying the blind boy, he challenged him to overcome his situation and take charge of himself. Both characters were believable and unique in many ways.

Negative Points
The beginning didn't really hook me. I was about to put the
Jul 04, 2012 K. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: shipwreck theme lovers, anyone
Contender 12/13 read aloud.

Heard raves about this book from diverse people. I really liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. That's not to say it's not worth reading, or sharing with your kids, because it is. I was just a little let down after hearing hype.

One thing I can really appreciate is the way the author made the characters real, 3D, not just one sided "good" or "bad" or even in the middle. They worked & acted like real people. Philip was a lame whiner at times. Timothy was
Braxton Barlow
May 28, 2014 Braxton Barlow rated it really liked it
The Cay starts with a boy named Phillop who is about twelve and his mother and father during World War Two. His mom wants to live the place they are living because of the war. Phillop's father says that here is safe but Phillop's mother decides to go any way. Phillop and his mother board a ship that is taking the somewhere safe, but the boat is torpedoed and Phillop is rescued by and old black sailor named Timothy. Phillop was hit on the head by a piece of the boat which after a couple of days c ...more
Sean Huff
Nov 02, 2010 Sean Huff rated it really liked it
I read this book in middle school and I still think about it now into my 20's. The story really begins when Phillip, the protagonist of the story, flees his island homeland with his mother on a boat after the Germans attack. His boat is then hit by a torpedo and in haste of getting to a lifeboat, he is separated from his mother and is also, by chance, paired with a black man named Timothy. In the chaos of their escape, Phillip bumps his head which causes him blindness after a short time. They bo ...more
Apr 20, 2012 Jacob rated it it was ok
This book, while short, encompasses a variety of morals. Perhaps because of this, I felt like I wasn't reading a fictional book so much as taking a lesson in ethics. While the morals were important ones to learn (don't judge a book by it's cover being an important one), I feel the book would have been a lot more entertaining if they weren't crammed in as well.

Another complaint I have about this book is that the main character is extremely whiny and hard to relate to for over half the book. Whil
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Audio version omits "young bahss" 1 7 Nov 15, 2015 01:17PM  
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