The Cay – Quick Summary & Comprehension questions (multiple choice)
“The Cay is the story of Phillip, a boy living on the island of Curacao off the island of Venezuela during World War II. As he and his mother are trying to escape the war and head back to their home in Virginia, the ship they are riding on sinks. Phillip survives the boat accident only to be trapped on an island with a black man and a cat. . .”
** Students will be given the following comprehension questions after the March Break. If students wish to do them during the March Break to help check for understanding, that would be helpful. Otherwise, we will go over these in class, insha’Allah****
The Cay Chapter 1
1. Read the following sentence from Chapter 1.
Like silent, hungry sharks that swim in the darkness, the German submarines arrived in the middle of the night.
The author uses the simile in this sentence to ______________ .
a) make the reader know that sharks swim in the sea around Willemstad
b) to emphasize how frightening the arrival of German submarines was to the people of Willemstad
c) to describe to the reader what the German submarines looked like
d) to make the German submarines seem real
2. Which line from the book shows that it is written in first person?
a) I was asleep on the second floor of our narrow, gabled green house in Willemstad, on the island of Curacao, the largest of the Dutch islands just off the coast of Venezuela.
b) One German sub was even sighted off Willemstad at dawn.
c) Phillip, the enemy has finally attacked the island, and there will be no school today.
d) They once stormed the island long ago.
3. “The Cay” can best be described as
a) historical ﬁction.
b) a drama.
c) a biography.
d) realistic ﬁction.
4. How does the setting in Chapter 1 emphasize conflict in the story?
a) Native schooners from Venezuela, Aruba, and Bonaire were coming in with bananas, oranges, papayas, melons, and vegetables.
b) The Dutch were raiding the Spanish galleons.
c) Willemstad had to defend itself against the storming pirates and the British.
d) World War II had come to the Caribbean by way of Germans who wanted the oil from the refineries.
5. Phillip and his best friend Henrick disobey their mothers by _______________ .
a) skipping school to go down to the shipyard
b) going down to the harbor after the arrival of the Germans
c) playing war games with the Caribbean sailors by pretending to be pirates
d) using Mr. van Boven’s binoculars to see the soldiers in the ancient fort
6. Phillip and Henrick _________.
a) were natives of Curacao
b) were both from America
c) were both from the Netherlands
d) came to Curacao from different countries; Phillip from America and Henrick from the Netherlands
7. Phillip’s father came to Curacao to ___________.
a) study the trees, fish, and birds
b) be a tour guide taking tourist on hikes around Krup Bay or Seroe Male
c) work on a program to increase production of aviation gas
d) work for the fire department on the island
8. The people of Curacao planned __________.
a) to drop bombs on the German submarines
b) ride out to the submarines in boats to attack the Germans
c) nothing, because they didn’t have any weapons
d) to ask the Amsterdam government to help
9. Why are the islands of Aruba and Curacao important and in danger of German attack?
a) They have oil and an oil refinery. The Germans want the oil and fuel.
b) The Germans need a base for supplies in the Caribbean. Aruba and Curacao are good sources of food and water.
c) Aruba and Curacao have an American ambitions supply depot on the islands.
d) The Germans feel the large population of Caribbean soldiers will attack their native homeland.
10. Which word completes the analogy?
refinery is to gasoline as dairy farm is to _____________
11. Which sentence from Chapter 1 is an opinion?
a) I remembered the summers with lightning bugs and honeysuckle smells.
b) I was only seven when we’d moved to the Caribbean.
c) I guess my mother was homesick for Virginia, where no one talked Dutch, and there was no smell of gas or oil.
d) She went back into the kitchen.
12. If a student wants to find the location of Curacao, where should she or he look?
a) an atlas
b) a textbook
c) the glossary
d) the dictionary
The Cay Chapter 2
1. Curacao’s governor ordered that _____________ .
a) no boats could leave the island
b) all weapons on the island be turned in, so the military could attack the Germans
c) no light could shine anywhere on the island
d) all people obey a strict curfew hand had to be inside their homes before dark
2. Phillip put _________ under the couch to use as a weapon if the Germans attacked.
a) a hatchet
b) a butcher’s knife
c) a baseball bat
d) a frying pan
3. The refinery stopped producing oil and gas because __________.
a) the oil rig had been torpedoed by the German submarines
b) all the workers left Curacao to the safety of the main land
c) the Chinese refused to sail without naval escorts
d) the crude oil could not be harvested without electrical power
A cargo ship must be loaded at all times to float properly in the ocean.
A ballast facility is used to obtain this. When the ship does not have cargo, rocks or water are loaded into the ballast tank to control buoyancy and stability. __________ was placed in the ballast tanks in the ships going to the Dutch West Indies. The ships would carry this to the islands, unload, then the ship would be filled with oil going to England and Africa.
a) Building materials
b) Fresh fruit and vegetables
c) Fresh drinking water
d) Sugar for making rum
5. Phillip witnessed which of the following tragic events?
a) Henrick van Boven’s fall off the pontoon bridge
b) the attack of the fort by the Germans
c) the bombing of the S.S. Empire Tern, a big British tanker
d) the murder of the Curacao’s governor
6. Phillip Enright Sr., Phillip’s father, felt the S.S. Hato was safe to take his family to Miami because ______________.
a) she would be guarded by aircraft
b) the Germans would never waste a torpedo on this old tub
c) she was armed with machine guns on her fore and aft
d) the ship would be leaving at night under the cover of the blackened island
7. Choose the event that occurs first.
a) Phillip and his mother leave Curacao on the S.S. Hato.
b) The Empire Tern is torpedoed by the Germans.
c) Mr. Enright checks to make sure no light can be seen around the blackout curtains.
d) Phillip said good bye to Henrik van Boven and the other boys.
8. The conflict in the story results from ______________ .
a) Phillip leaving Curacao
b) the divorce of Phillip’s parents
c) the blowing up of the Empire Tern
d) the Germans trying to get oil and gasoline from the islands of Curacao and Aruba
9. The author wrote this book mostly to ___________ .
a) entertain readers with a fictional story that is set during World War II
b) persuade readers to study the events that took place during World War II
c) explain how important oil and gasoline was during World War II
d) compare how World War II affected different locations around the world
10. Choose the question that is not answered in the chapters 1 and 2.
a) Will the S.S. Hato have a safe voyage?
b) What happened to the S.S. Empire Tern?
c) How did Phillip feel about leaving Curacao?
d) Why was Curacao important in World War II?
11. Choose the best title for Chapter 2.
a) The Curacao Misfortune
b) Mr. Enright’s Job
c) Reasons Phillip Must Leave
d) World War II
The Dutch never felt completely safe on the island of Curacao. They built forts at each vulnerable spot on the island. None of these Curacao forts could withstand a large-scale attack, but they were very effective against pirates.
From the caption under the fort photograph, the reader knows that _________.
a) Curacao’s inhabitants were raided by pirates
b) the Dutch had the largest influence of any of the early inhabitants of Curacao
c) the Dutch leaders built Fort Amsterdam to protect their settlement and soon the city began to grow
d) the coastline of Curacao is formed from rough limestone formations set on top of volcanic rock