Remembering The Cay

October 29, 2006 | 1 book mentioned 3

coverTheodore Taylor died this week. He was best known as author of The Cay, a book that has stayed with me since I read it in fifth or sixth grade. The book has a premise appealing to an 11 year old as it imagines a boy that age during World War II who, after the boat he is riding on is torpedoed, ends up on a small island with an old black man, Timothy, and a cat. The boy, Phillip, has been blinded in the accident, and he has an ingrained mistrust of Timothy. Though the book is a story of how Phillip comes to love Timothy, it is unsentimental and peppered with enough adventure to keep a young reader interested. Unlike The Lord of the Flies that other classic about the youthful shipwrecked, The Cay felt more real to me as it wasn’t as weighted down by allegory. I hope kids still read The Cay in school.

Taylor’s obit in the LA Times.

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.


  1. Kids still read The Cay, or at least they did in the mid-1990s, when I was in grade school. I read The Cay on a rainy afternoon during fifth grade and loved it.

  2. I love the cay i read cay when i was in 5 th 6th grad and i love it thanks theodore taylor for writing a wonderfull book.

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