Well, I know when I started prepping for this session I said I was aiming to avoid reading white male authors, but here I am reading The Cay for the first time– how didn’t I learn about this children’s book when I was young? I read so prolifically and so widely my entire childhood– I feel like I must have missed a lot if I missed this. What other gaps might I find sorting books for the Friends of the Library?
I felt like reading a kid’s book because my brain is pretty tired with all the happenings in our world– plus the fires here are oppressive, scary. So, I am just happy to be reading– trying not to be too hard on myself about the author thing.
The Cay is a children’s novel about a kid, Phillip, who is traveling with his family and due to WWII, becomes separated from his mother and ends up with Timothy, an old black man. Phillip hit his head during a torpedo attack on a ship– the ship that he was on his mother with, headed to the US. On a raft with Timothy out in the Caribbean, Phillip goes blind. Phillip is pretty racist, but Timothy helps show him that we are all quite the same.
Timothy takes care of Phillip literally until he dies. Phillip is saved in the end.
The book felt very familiar– a story I have heard many times in many ways, and am continuing to hear daily.