Reviews for Cay : Library Edition

School Library Journal Reviews 2005 June
Gr 5-8-This is a classic novel about racism and a young man's realization that skin color does not matter. Phillip is an 11-year-old living in the West Indies at the start of World War II. He's excited at the idea of being in the war but is taken away by his mother who only wants to return to the safety of Virginia. Their ship is sunk by the Germans, and Phillip and his mother end up on separate life rafts. After being hit on the head with a beam from the sinking ship, Phillip awakens to find himself alone with Timothy, an old black ship hand, and Stew Cat, the ship's tomcat. The three survive on a raft for several days, during which time Phillip loses his eyesight due to the head injury. They eventually come ashore on a small unpopulated island. Phillip must learn to deal with his blindness and overcome his dislike for Timothy. Phillip's question, "Timothy, are you still black?," shows that Phillip has moved past the barrier of color. After Timothy's death, Phillip continues to live on the island and is eventually rescued and reunited with his parents. This audio version of Theodore Taylor's novel (Doubleday, 1987) is well done, with actor Michael Boatman doing a wonderful job of giving the characters individual voices. The West Indian dialect is smooth. At the end of the novel, there's an author Q&A featuring an interview with Taylor in which he talks about the inspirations for his characters and his travels. An excellent purchase for middle and high school libraries.-Lisa D. Williams, Chocowinity Middle School, NC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.