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What Katy Did (Puffin Classics) Paperback – Illustrated, 29 Jan 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Classics; New Ed edition (29 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140366970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140366976
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 1.4 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,423,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Coolidge was the pen name for Sarah Chauncey Woolsey who was born in 1835 into a wealthy and influential family in Ohio, USA. She spent much of her childhood in Connecticut after her family moved there in 1852 and worked as a nurse during the American Civil War, after which she started to write. She never married, and resided at her family home in Rhode Island until her death in 1905.

The fictional Carr family, who feature in What Katy Did, are based on her own family, with Katy Carr inspired by Woolsey herself and the brothers and sisters by her four younger siblings.

Product Description

Review

"This book really got me hooked while she struggled and was happy. I recommend it to all children and I hope you enjoy it too!!!" (Alice Brown, aged 10 Guardian)

"This tale of a boisterous child coming into maturity reads with the same zest and insight as it would have done when it was first published over 130 years ago" (Guardian)

"So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!" (National Association for the Teaching of English)

"A book about a long lanky tomboy with tangled hair, a crazy imagination and a whole heap of good intentions. Katy Carr wasn't perfect - far from it - but she was perfect for me!" (Cathy Cassidy) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The boisterous, tall, unstoppable Katy Carr will win your heart in her struggle to become good --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By B. Clare Grant on 14 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Katy's tale could so easily have been preachy. Set in 1860s USA it's about a thoughtless, careless, happy girl who has a terrible accident. As she learns to live with pain and with not being able to walk, she also learns how to be patient and loving.
However, the lessons are interspersed with annecdotes about Katy and her family. These are so alive and colourful that I am sure they must be partly true! There's the time Katy befriends a counterfeiter's wife; an important visitor finds and reads aloud Katy's story about Bop the blue poodle and Lady Edwitha of the Hebrides; and her sister Johnny's 'baby', a chair named Pikery falls ill and must be dosed with stolen medicine.
I love the underlying message, which is that good deeds begin at home - think globally, act locally. After Katy falls ill, she lies in bed fretting that she will never be able to perform all the great deeds she hoped to do. However she learns that she can make a difference to her family and friends.
I love the honesty of it - although at the end Katy is adored by her family, she is still sometimes headstrong and impatient, and there are times when she must work at being good. I loved the fact that her change has not consumed the joyous, impetuous part of her and there are still merry times after the accident.
I would love to know what a person who has suffered a similar disablement thinks of this story.
Similar reads are L M Mongomery's Anne and Emily books, Laura Ingalls Wilder's pioneering stories and Louisa M Alcott's Little Women.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Iles on 31 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I actually really enjoyed this book. I know it's a bit old-fashioned now, and obviously things have changed a lot since this book was written. Girls aren't expected to be perfect little angels these days. But it's still a very sweet book. It was interesting to see Katy change from a rebellious little girl into a polite and kind young woman.
One thing about this book that I didn't really like was the ending. I thought the last chapter seemed a bit rushed, and it seemed to me like the happy ending was a bit of an afterthought, and slightly unlikely too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs O on 7 May 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I saw that the series of five 'Katy' books was available for the Kindle, I downloaded them at once; as an added bonus, some of them were free. My old books were much-loved and read and reread and, many years after they went to a charity shop or a jumble sale, to read them once again was a lovely reminder of childhood. They are well-written, and not so aimed at children that a forty-something-year-old got bored.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JRW on 19 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
Katy Carr is a twelve year-old girl, a tomboy who lives in a small house with her father, aunt and five younger brothers and sisters. At first, the book appears to be about growing up; with the plays, antics and misadventures of Katy, her siblings and friend Cecy Hall. The cheerful tone present early in the story is swiftly replaced about halfway through after a tragic incident which makes the book take a darker outlook and it becomes a nail-biting page turner.

Well-written with great supporting characters including severe yet kindly Aunt Izzie, the siblings: Clover, Elsie, Dorry, John and Phil, each with a unique personality and my favourite character, the Carr children's sickly yet wise and patient Cousin Helen.

If you have read and enjoyed similar books such as Little Women or Anne of Green Gables, you should give this a try.

A light read of about 200 pages with a good message to it - but parents buying this book for a child should read it first and then decide for themselves whether their child will be able to cope with the slightly dark, melancholy and sad second half.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tri5ia on 17 Jun. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this book and all the Katy series. I was just a little girl when I first read it and it quickly became one of my favourites. Sadly my much-read copy was lost when we moved, and I never replaced it. Now here it is for the Kindle, and I have just spent a very happy few hours renewing my acquaintance with the Carr family. A huge thank you to the transcribers.

Society and fashion may change, but people don't and I, a 20th century English child had no trouble relating to Katy, a 19th century American child. Now middle-aged, I love Katy just as much, and find her adventures just as enjoyable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Skibeaky on 4 Jan. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was free with the Kindle and as it was one of my favourites as a child I decided to enjoy it again. Loved the story, missed the pictures, hated the conversion to Kindle format - lots of spelling mistakes and broke lines after every Mr. or Mrs. as if it needed a new paragraph.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By juliet R on 26 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
I have just rediscovered What Katy Did,after a clearout of old children's books.My original copy was very worn and so I purchased this Puffin Classic from amazon,of course!

I was absorbed into the wonderful story of Katy Carr and her family,full of warmth,poignancy and charm,in which the heroine is shown a lesson when she falls out of a faulty swing in the shed at home and she has to spend long months recovering,unable to be active and enjoy life as she used to before the accident.

A host of marvellous characters appear in this book-Katy's austere Aunt Izzie,her loving father Dr Carr,her brothers Phil and Dorry,sisters Elsie,Clover and Johnny. Her siblings were modelled on author Susan Coolidge's own.The Carr children's mother died when Phil was four years old.

The shining light of Katy's difficult time is Cousin Helen,who suffered a similar accident but never recovered fully from it.

This story is indeed timeless and it could be read to children of today.I was totally immersed in this story and a bomb could explode while I was reading it and it wouldn't be heard by me!

Highly recommended.
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