Remembering Theodore Taylor


Today is Theodore Taylor’s birthday, and he is an author I remember with great fondness. I used his book, The Cay, as a novel study each year that I taught sixth grade (16 years). It’s a very interesting experience to read a book that many times, but each time I read it with my students, it was as fresh and wonderful as the first time. I grew to love the book more and more over the years, and I grew to love Theodore Taylor for being the kind of person that could write a book that had such a profoundly positive impact on my students year after year. It was always a favorite for each group of students, and it was a wonderful book to experience with them .

He wrote it in 1968 and dedicated it:

“To Dr. King’s dream, which can only come true if the very young know and understand.”

It is a book about war (it takes place in 1942), about prejudice, and about survival. It deals with emotional truths, and with growing up. It is a story of relationships and how they change us. And it is a book written to introduce young people to some of our most profound ideas. It truly is a classic, and if you haven’t read it, you should.


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