The Cay

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The Cay
The Cay cover.jpg
Author(s)Theodore Taylor
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Survival
PublisherAvon
Publication date1969
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages105 pp (first edition, paperback)
ISBNISBN 0-380-01003-8
OCLC Number26874149
Followed byTimothy of the Cay
 
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The Cay
The Cay cover.jpg
Author(s)Theodore Taylor
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)Survival
PublisherAvon
Publication date1969
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages105 pp (first edition, paperback)
ISBNISBN 0-380-01003-8
OCLC Number26874149
Followed byTimothy of the Cay

The Cay is a children's novel written by Theodore Taylor. It was first published in 1969.

The Cay took only three weeks to complete. Taylor based the character of the boy in his book on a childhood playmate. The novel was published in 1969 and dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Contents

Plot

When World War II breaks out, Phillip Enright and his mother board the S.S. Hato to Virginia because the mother feels it's unsafe to stay in Curaçao. The ship is torpedoed, and Phillip is blinded by a blow on the head and is stranded on an island with an old black man named Timothy and a black cat named Stew. They build a hut, and keep track of the days by throwing pebbles in a can. They live alone together for two months. In the opening chapters of the book, the pair display significant difficulty in being able to tolerate and work with each other, partly because of young white Phillip's racial prejudice against the elderly black Timothy. The two characters learn to overcome their disdain for one another, and develop strong bonds of friendship by the end of the novel. Their relationship changes rapidly throughout the novel starting with complete hate and them showing signs of teamwork to a point where Phillip doesn't need Timothy anymore but Timothy needs Philip. Phillip is blind for most of the story, and heavily relies on Timothy for a long time on the island until he adapts to being blind. After a tempest comes and kills Timothy, Phillip is then rescued by a ship and goes back home. A year after he washed up onto the island, he gets surgery to get his sight back.

Controversy

The Cay received Jane Addams Children's Book Award in 1970, but following criticism of the book, in 1976 the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom asked Taylor to return the award. Taylor complied, but stated the work was "a subtle plea for better race relations and more understanding."[1] The book later became required reading in schools in dozens of U.S. states as well as internationally.

Adaptation and sequel

References

  1. ^ Miller, Stephen (2006-10-30). "Theodore Taylor, 85, Children's Novelist". New York Sun. http://www.nysun.com/article/42476. Retrieved 2010-09-25.