Welcome to my first ever Flash Back Friday! Every Friday I’ll be discussing a book that I read in elementary/middle school. Picture books, chapter books, whatever I feel that has made an impact on me or youth literature in general! I will also put the goodreads link at the end so you can check these throwback out yourselves!
Oh man if you never read The Cay by Theodore Taylor in school you are missing out! This book follows a young boy named Phillip who is traveling to the United States with his mother via boat. Their boat is targeted by a submarine and Phillip manages to get on a lifeboat with a West Indian man named Timothy. Phillip sustains a head trauma in the wreck which leaves him blind. He’s also a dick to Timothy because he’s a POC.
They land on a deserted island and Timothy takes care of Phillip and teaches him not to be a racist little shit. He also teaches Phillip that he isn’t helpless with his vision impairment, and makes sure he does his share of work in their camp. A hurricane rolls over their island and destroys their camp and also takes Timothy’s life. Phillip mourns his friend, but because of all of Timothy’s teaching he is able to survive and is eventually rescued.
I’m pretty hazy on a lot of the details (give me a break I read this 15 years ago) but this book was one of my favorite reads. Timothy not only put up with this bad attitude little kid, but taught him to be a better person and showed him that a disability shouldn’t hinder your ability to be productive and independent.
Definitely pick this one up for your budding bookworm!