Discovering a Jewel
In our city-county library where I live there is always a bookshelf of books for sale for ridiculously low prices. (This is true in every branch location of the entire system.) Since I have three young grandchildren who love to read, it’s a must-stop for me each time I’m in my local branch location. (Which is quite often, I have to admit.)
Upon one occasion, I came across a juvenile fiction entitled The Cay by Theodore Taylor on these sale shelves. I hasten to add here that since I write for this audience, juvenile fiction is a staple of my reading diet. I purchased the book for fifty cents and went home to realize later that I had discovered a jewel. If you are familiar with the works of this prolific, life-long author please don’t embarrass me by telling me. Just compliment me for finally making it to your grade level. (smile)
Mind Boggling Details
I devoured that captivating story. The plot involves a young boy who during WWII was traveling on a ship from the Caribbean Island of Curacao heading back to the states when it was torpedoed by the enemy and the boy is cast adrift. He is aided by an illiterate West Indian deckhand and the two become castaways on a deserted island. I was impressed not only by the plotting skills of this author, but also his amazing knowledge of the subject at hand – West Indian culture and survival skills. The details of their methods of survival are mind boggling.
I was now eager to know more about Theodore Taylor. I learned that he died in 2006 at the age of 85. I also learned of his extensive library of works produced during his lifetime. I then learned that many of these titles were in our library system. That started me on a quest to read even more of Mr. Taylor’s works. I could scarcely believe the wide variety of his vast storehouse of knowledge.
His Storehouse of Knowledge
I read Lord of the Kill, wherein this author displayed intricate knowledge of the exploitation of wild game animals.
In Billy the Kid, he seems to know every detail of the desert Southwest.
In the Outer Banks Trilogy, he shows his knowledge of the distinct culture of the Outer Banks of SC during the 1800s, in addition to his extensive knowledge of ships and shipping of that day.
In Ice Drift, he displays his extensive knowledge of the Inuit people of the Arctic Circle in the mid 1800s, in addition to the character of the treacherous ever-changing ice in that region.
I could continue my list, but you get the idea. This man, who has been gone from the world for several years, has inspired me and excited me, in addition to giving me awesome stories to enjoy.
Heights of Ecstasy
Only another author, or avid reader, can grasp the heights of ecstasy to which this discovery has taken me.
Oh, I also learned he had a distinct distrust for computers and technology.
Thank you Theodore Taylor for sticking to your typewriter through all those years so I could enjoy such a feast.
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