The Cay

The Cay, by Theodore Taylor, is about an eleven-year-old American boy, Phillip, living in the Caribbean with his family. The story takes place during World War II, and the German U-Boats are threatening the island's oil refineries just off the shore. Phillip and his mother were traveling back to the United States, and their boat was torpedoed. An older man named Timothy saves Phillip's life by pulling him onto a life raft. The two, along with a cat, survive on an island and learn to appreciate each other.

What makes this book so good is the relationship between Phillip and Timothy. Phillip is young and inexperienced, while Timothy is old and wise. Phillip is white, Timothy is black (a big deal in WWII). Phillip is educated, Timothy is not. There are a lot of dichotomies in the book, and it is wonderful to see how they must depend on each other to survive. There are many things about this story that are memorable, and even Jen has told me that it was her favorite book when she was growing up. Great book!

--Mr. Riedl