First, I have to say that the kids LOVED this book.
Here is an overview of the story:
This award-winning novel remains a powerful classic of prejudice, love, and survival. In 1942, 11-year-old Phillip Enright lives with his parents on the Dutch island of Curaçao, but when the war moves too close for comfort, his mother decides to travel with him back to the safety of Virginia. When their boat is torpedoed, however, Phillip is blinded and finds himself adrift on a life raft with an old black man and a cat. They eventually land on a deserted island. Phillip is suspicious of "the large Negro," but soon grows to trust--and ultimately love--the patient and generous Timothy. Dedicated to "Dr. King's Dream," The Cay has a clear message that friendship is colorblind; it is also a terrific adventure story of a young, newly blinded man learning to survive on an uninhabited island. (Ages 12 and older) --Richard Farr
From School Library Journal
Grade 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
Joseph and Caroline have the assignment to design a memorial/monument to Timothy as their final project in this Moving Beyond the Page unit.
Joseph is planning on painting the hands and he still needs to do some sanding and filling in. He wanted to do the two hands together so we thought a cast of the hands would be the way to go. So this is our first casting attempt.
Isn't it moving? The firmly rooted large hand holding on to the weak, smaller hand?