Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cay” as Want to Read:
The Cay
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cay (The Cay #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  22,629 ratings  ·  1,744 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 the
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 28th 2002 by Yearling (first published 1969)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cay, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Steven I think it is three planes...
One before the signal fire was built.
One with the white smoke
One with the black smoke
A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo LeopoldWalden by Henry David ThoreauA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonPilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie DillardSilent Spring by Rachel Carson
Best Nature Books
89th out of 369 books — 329 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettBridge to Terabithia by Katherine PatersonThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
About Friendship
41st out of 168 books — 61 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Helen Pontak
Sep 26, 2007 Helen Pontak rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adventure loving people
The Cay is a book about a boy named Phillip Enright living in the time of a world war II (1942). When German U-boats surround the island of Curacao, his mother who is frightened wants to go back to the Netherlands and take her son with her. Her husband who has to work was not able to leave, Phillips mother complained and eventually won the argument. Phillip and his mother say goodbye to Phillips father and they sail away on a ship. The ship becomes shipwrecked and Phillip and his mother get thro ...more
Mary Grace
This is the best book eva!!!!! It is so sweet! I cried my eyes out at the end though!
May 18, 2008 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Abbey Cupcake
It was good but in some parts it was sad
Ian Mclean
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Renee Armitage
“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
Rachel Terry
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Sophie Schiller
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
A classic story of a white boy and a black man shipwrecked together, and how once you get to know someone you can become color blind. Phillip's mother always told him that the black people on their small Caribbean island of Curacao were different, and that he wasn't to associate with them. But when the Germans send submarines to torpedo boats in the area, she panics and insists on returning to America. He never makes it there. Phillip and Timothy, a Caribbean native, drift on a raft for days, an ...more
Lisbeth Solberg
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?
John Yelverton
A sweet and beautiful story about friendship and survival from two very unlikely but lovable companions.
Kelsey Connolly
The Cay - Theodore Taylor

Reading this with a fifth-grade class this year was eye-opening. this book follows Phillip, a 12-year-old boy living in the caribbean during WWII. Fleeing from the Germans, Phillip becomes blind, abandoned, and stranded on a small island with a older black man named Timothy. Over the course of the book, Timothy teaches Phillip about survival, about friendship, and about respect. In the end, Timothy sacrifices himself for Phillip during a hurricane. Phillip has to fend fo
Braxton Barlow
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

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
Jul 04, 2012 K. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
Annie McMahon
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
Sean Huff
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
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
Oct 28, 2009 sal added it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Erin Forson
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
Dayna Smith
In 1942, 11-year-old Phillip Enright lives with his parents in the Caribbean where is father works for a Dutch oil company. As the war moves closer his mother decides to travel with him back to the safety of Virginia. When their boat is torpedoed, however, Phillip is blinded and finds himself adrift on a life raft with an old black man and a cat. They eventually land on a deserted island. Timothy must teach a blind boy to survive alone on an uninhabited island.
"The Cay" is a book written by Theodore Taylor. Phillip Enright was a boy who lived in Curacao, in 1942. That place became dangerous, so Phillip and his mother left aboard a ship. The Germans attacked the ship and it began to sink. Phillip fainted and when he woke up, he was in a life boat with a strong old black man called Timothy. Phillip got blind because he looked at the sun for a long time, but fortunately Timothy became his eyes. Later, they reached an island and Timothy took care of the b ...more
~Classic~Dani~Mia~Rae~{Je ne sais pas comment les gens se perdent, mais si je le faisais, je prends mon temps et en profiter}
This book was amazing, sad, and all of the above i guess! This was the first book I cried over, the end happened way to fast: He was found, he got his sight back and his parents. An then Phillip was like "Someday, I'll charted a schooner out of Panama and explore the Devils Mouth. I hope to find the lonely little island where Timothy is buried.
Maybe I won't know it by sight, but when I go ashore and close my eyes, I'll know this was our own cay. Ill walk along east beach and out to the reef. Il
Jordan Lundin
The book that I read this term is called "The Cay" by Theodore Taylor. The story takes place in Curacao (in the Caribbean). The year is 1942, during World War 2. The main characters in this story are Philip, Timothy, and Philip's parents.

The story starts off by saying Philip and his parents are from Virginia. They moved to the Caribbean because Philip's dad works in an oil refinery, so, they had to move. In the beginning of the story, you also find out Philip isn't afraid of war. Philip's mom, o
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's so bad about the book Cay? 33 137 Jan 28, 2015 05:14PM  
To all who have read "The Cay" as a class assignment: Do you like it? Did you like it? Will you like it? 23 70 Jan 03, 2015 08:33PM  
RDG 291 The Cay 1 7 Dec 01, 2014 03:34PM  
The Challenge Fac...: Mary & Mary - The Cay 4 6 Oct 15, 2014 11:55AM  
good or bad? 2 8 Apr 23, 2014 05:30PM  
  • On the Wings of Heroes
  • Shades of Gray
  • Snow Treasure
  • Me and My Little Brain (Great Brain #3)
  • Incident at Hawk's Hill
  • The Sign of the Beaver
  • Call It Courage
  • Finding Buck McHenry
  • By the Great Horn Spoon!
  • Summer of the Monkeys
  • Weasel
  • The Black Pearl
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
  • The Voyage of the Frog
  • Jip: His Story
  • Charlie's Raven
  • The Wreckers (High Seas Adventures, #1)
  • In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Other Books in the Series

The Cay (2 books)
  • Timothy of the Cay (The Cay, #2)
Timothy of the Cay (The Cay, #2) The Weirdo (Paperback) The Trouble with Tuck The Bomb Ice Drift

Share This Book

17 trivia questions
4 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“This would be an outrageous cay man” 4 likes
More quotes…