|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||105 pp (first edition, paperback)|
|Followed by||Timothy of the Cay|
The Cay took only three weeks to complete. Taylor based the character of the boy in his book on a child who was aboard the Hato, when it was torpedoed, who drifts out to sea on a lifeboat. The novel was published in 1969 and dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr.
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." The book later became required reading in schools in dozens of U.S. states as well as internationally.
Adaptation and sequel
- The book was adapted into a one-hour TV drama in 1974 with Alfred Lutter as Phillip, James Earl Jones as Timothy, and Gretchen Corbett as Phillip's mother.
- In 1993, Taylor published Timothy of the Cay, a book which tells both of Phillip's life after and of Timothy's life before the ordeal.
- Miller, Stephen (2006-10-30). "Theodore Taylor, 85, Children's Novelist". New York Sun. Retrieved 2010-09-25.