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Theodore Taylor Books In Order

Publication Order of Cay Books

The Cay (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Timothy of the Cay (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chronological Order of Cay Books

Timothy of the Cay (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cay (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Cape Hatteras Trilogy Books

Teetoncey (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Teetoncey and Ben O'Neal (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Odyssey of Ben O'Neal (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Tuck Books

The Trouble with Tuck (1981) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tuck Triumphant (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Body Trade (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Children's War (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Maldonado Miracle (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rebellion Town, Williamsburg, 1776 (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Waking Up a Rainbow (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stalker (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hostage (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sniper (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Monocolo (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Weirdo (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Maria: A Christmas Story (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
To Kill the Leopard (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sweet Friday Island (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bomb (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Sailor Returns (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boy Who Could Fly Without a Motor (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lord of the Kill (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ice Drift (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Billy the Kid (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Rogue Wave (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Picture Books

Hello, Arctic! (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Theodore Taylor is an American author who died in 2006. Even though he wrote plenty of adult fiction, Theodore is best known for his young adult novels many of which were inspired by real-life experiences.

+Biography

Theodore Taylor was born in 1921 in North Carolina, though he didn’t stay for long. Theodore’s life eventually took him all over the world. The author grew up during the Depression so he’s intimately acquainted with poverty.

By the time he was ten, Theodore Taylor was waking up before dawn to deliver newspapers in the hopes that he could contribute substantially to the family income. Theodore always got along perfectly well on his own.

He was always wandering the streets of his hometown, getting into a little bit of trouble and collecting experiences that would stay with him for the rest of his life. Writing came easily enough to the author.

He started experimenting with the habit at a young age. By the time he started his teens, the author was a prominent author in his high school, covering his school’s sporting events for the ‘Evening Star’, a publication in Portsmouth, Virginia.

By the time he was seventeen, Theodore Taylor was a copyboy for the Washington, D.C. Daily News. Money was still tight at the time and it took all of Theodore’s wits to survive so far from home.

After a stint writing for radio, Theodore followed his peers into the Second World War, serving as a cadet on a Merchant ship.

The author’s first book was ‘The Magnificent Mitscher’ which he wrote and got published in 1955. The book didn’t really get Theodore anywhere but that didn’t matter at the time because the author was too busy working as a press agent, a story editor and then an associate producer with Paramount Pictures.

Theodore loved the work. He met numerous interesting people like Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra as a result. The author garnered some success in the film business before finally deciding to give all his time to writing novels, both fiction and nonfiction.

The author’s first children’s novel was ‘The Cay’. ‘The Cay’ is still Theodore’s most popular novel to date. The book explores the trials of a white eleven-year-old boy called Phillip who, after going blind, is shipwrecked on an island with a black sailor called Timothy.

Because Philip was brought up to hate black people, he despises Timothy who is illiterate. However, as the pair fights various challenges in their efforts to survive, Phillip’s prejudice begins to fall away and he is forced to see the humanity of the black man taking care of him.

‘The Cay’ was a game changer when it was first published. One did not see many anti-racism books on the shelves at the time, at least not in the section of fiction. Theodore Taylor set precedence by aiming his book towards children.

The author was always vocal about his disgust for racism. The attitude was sparked by an incident during his childhood when Ku Klux Riders went by his house. The experience terrified him and he made it his objective to use fiction to attack racism.

Theodore determined that children’s books were the best way to get his message across because he believed people his age were too far gone and the only hope the United States had of beating racism was to educate children while they were still so malleable.

‘The Cay’ was extremely popular. It received numerous literary awards and was even made into a television movie featuring James Earl Jones in 1974. ‘The Maldonado Miracle’, another Theodore Taylor book, was also turned into a television movie by Salma Hayek in 2003. The project was Salma’s directorial debut.

Even though ‘The Cay’ was very popular, it was derided by certain groups that took offense with Theodore’s supposedly racist portrayal of Timothy. It wasn’t just his appearance that put some people off but Timothy’s accent.

Attempts were made to ban the book from schools and libraries. But even the demonstrations that followed were incapable of debilitating the popularity of ‘The Cay’ which became a staple in certain classrooms.

Theodore said he based the book on the story of an actual childhood friend who shocked him with the intensity of his hate for black people, hate that had been inculcated into him by his mother.

Theodore went on to write numerous other novels based on his experiences. Because he was always dipping into his life for inspiration, Theodore wasn’t always comfortable with the title of ‘Author’.

Rather, he came to describe himself as a reporter. Because he didn’t have the best imagination, Theodore saw fit to use real-life experiences to create his characters. For that reason, he went on to produce many nonfiction books.

Theodore Taylor’s hobbies included traveling and fishing.

+The Cay

Phillip isn’t the nicest boy. On his way to the United States aboard a Freighter, he thinks nothing of the suffering of others when the Germans invade Curacao. To Phillip, war is a game. The little boy couldn’t wait to witness the mayhem breakout first hand.

Then a torpedo struck his freighter and threw his life into chaos. When Phillip wakes up, he’s bobbing on the sea in a life raft with a black man called Timothy. Phillip’s mother always warned him about black people, so he is pretty wary of his companion.

Once the pair becomes castaways on a small island, Phillip’s prejudices begin falling away.

This is the book that put Theodore Taylor on the map. The book takes place during the Second World War. Phillip is a bratty white boy that is forced to confront his prejudices when a black man shows him kindness.

+Timothy of the Cay

This book is both a sequel and a prequel to the Cay. The Cay was about a young white boy called Phillip who is stranded on an Island with a black man by the names of Timothy.

In the sequel, readers follow Phillip as he is finally rescued. Once home, Phillip begins treatment to restore his eyesight. The boy’s hope is to go back to the Cay and see where he lived with Timothy with his own eyes.

This novel also takes readers into Timothy’s past and shows him as a young man with big dreams. Theodore wrote this sequel after readers wrote to him begging for more stories about Phillip and Timothy.

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