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What Katy Did (Carr Family #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  14,463 Ratings  ·  297 Reviews
Grade 5-8-Twelve-year-old Katy is constantly making and quickly breaking resolutions about how she will change her ways and treat others, especially her five younger brothers and sisters, with more respect and compassion. When Katy meets her Cousin Helen, an invalid, Katy is awed by her kindness, prettiness, and generosity. Katy is determined to become more like Helen, a ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published December 22nd 2000 by Roberts Brothers (first published 1872)
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Irene Sometimes there isn't anything to make the best of," remarked Katy, dolefully. "Yes there is, always! Everything in the world has two handles. Didn't…moreSometimes there isn't anything to make the best of," remarked Katy, dolefully. "Yes there is, always! Everything in the world has two handles. Didn't you know that? One is a smooth handle. If you take hold of it, the thing comes up lightly and easily, but if you seize the rough handle, it hurts your hand and the thing is hard to lift. Some people always manage to get hold of the wrong handle." "Is Aunt Izzie a 'thing?'" asked Katy. Cousin Helen was glad to hear her laugh. "Yes--Aunt Izzie is a thing--and she has a nice pleasant handle too, if you just try to find it. And the children are 'things,' also, in one sense. All their handles are different. You know human beings aren't made just alike, like red flower-pots. We have to feel and guess before we can make out just how other people go, and how we ought to take hold of them. It is very interesting, I advise you to try it. And while you are trying, you will learn all sorts of things which will help you to help others.

A lesson there for everyone...(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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CheshRCat
Oct 09, 2010 CheshRCat rated it did not like it
I loathe this book.

I'll concede that it's enjoyable for the first few chapters. Katy Carr is a tall, rambunctious tomboy who's constantly getting into "scrapes". Her prissy and dignified Aunt Izzy despairs of her wild, messy, nature, but her younger brothers and sisters all think she's the greatest thing ever. Katy is a writer and storyteller with zillions of great ideas, and she's the ringleader of the family, and Papa's favourite.
If Coolidge had just kept the story like that, it would have be
...more
Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
If every young girl should read just one book, it should be this.

This is a childhood favourite of mine, I love it. It's just the way a children's story should be, simple, slightly nostalgic to an older audience, and with a valuable lesson to learn.
Holly
When I was little, I read a ton of older children's books. I read authors like L. M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Eleanor H. Porter, Kate Douglas Wiggin, Margaret Sidney, and so on. For whatever reason, I totally missed reading any of Susan Coolidge's Katy series, though I was aware that they existed. This is possibly why I did not enjoy them much when I read them at age 24.

I'm going to note that What Katy Did was written in the 1870s. Even though I was reminded a lot of other books like Polly
...more
The Book Queen
Apr 11, 2015 The Book Queen rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, classics
What Katy Did has been compared numerous times to Little Women. I would like to clarify: What Katy Did is totally inferior to Little Women.

What Katy Did has a very bland writing style, and nothing is described. The descriptions were some of the best bits about Little Women. In Little Women, the characters are three-dimensional and likeable, whereas in What Katy Did, the only one with any personality is Katy - and she's just irritating and arrogant.

In short, there isn't anything good about this
...more
Drebbles
Dec 11, 2009 Drebbles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2006
Twelve year old Katy Carr and her five brothers and sisters have all kinds of fun adventures. A thicket becomes "Paradise", a hayloft a place for a "feast", and the entire house a playground for games invented by Katy. Katy means well, but is impulsive and irresponsible and is constantly getting into scrapes and trouble. After the Carr's Cousin Helen visits, Katy vows to be more like Cousin Helen, who is saint-like despite the fact that she had a bad accident and hasn't been able to walk for ...more
Hulalah
Jun 02, 2016 Hulalah rated it it was amazing
It's kind of disappointing to see how people want to compare this book to other classics. I truly believe that evey book has something different to convey so it wouldn't be fair to dislike a book only because it doesn't come down to the level of other great books.

The book had what one looks for in a classic. It conveyed beautiful messages in a subtle fashion. The writer succeeded in highlighting some very important factors that are essential for a successful family life. These include one's fait
...more
Matthew
Mar 20, 2014 Matthew rated it it was ok
I most possibly detest What Katy Did. The first chapters, an endless odessy into Katy Carr (a tomboyish, mischievous, yet undoubtedly sweet and good-hearted little girl) are encouraging enough for a great book, yet fracturing her spine is not the way to go, Ms Coolidge, to make her nice to her awkward sister and to make her uphold her staunch Christian values.

I can see what she was going for (a little girl in emotional turmoil thanks to her outrageously detestable behaviour learns to be a prope
...more
Jessica
I discovered this book at one of those bargain book outlet dealies when I was a teenager and just ate it up. As someone who read Little Women and Anne of Green Gables over and over again, the fact that no one told me about Katy until I was in high school (and had already bought this book) was, well, negligent on the part of anyone who knew me. This is a wonderful book in the vein of those other, more well-known classics, about a loving, rough-and-tumble family lead by the headstrong Katy. In the ...more
Naomi Sarah
Sep 15, 2015 Naomi Sarah rated it really liked it
Ahhh! This book has it's faults, but it's so cute and re-reading it made me be a little girl again. (Seriously, I'd forgotten how much I used to love this book. I knew some bits by heart. :-D)

What I liked:
1. The characters are all jolly nice. Katy sometimes gets on my nerves, because she REALLY is impossible, and Aunt Helen is too perfect (heh), but they're all nice, in the end. I love Aunt Izzy, don't kill me. She was just hilarious, and her dry remarks about Katy made me giggle. "If you do, it
...more
Suzie
Jun 27, 2012 Suzie rated it really liked it
It's... very moralistic. In a 19th-century, Christian fashion. HOWEVER, I still love it. It's such a ridiculous story and the bit about the School of Pain made me want to vomit (in fact, it reminded me of a stupendous article that appeared in Lupus UK about how chronic illness is really a "beautiful beast within" which is actually the most offensively stupid thing I have ever had the misfortune to see in my entire life, including that film where Jack Black is a luchador) but otherwise there is ...more
Lina Qari
Mar 17, 2016 Lina Qari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
I cannot tell how much i loved and enjoyed this book. First of all from it's cover -which is different from the one in good reads. This book reminded me a great deal of little women, for the story is about a little girl named Katy and how she managed to grow into beautiful young women. She is the eldest among her siblings -same as me- and to be honest i feel ashamed not to be as good and kind as she is.

Maybe i liked the book because it's one of the classics and i do like the way writers are tel
...more
Dania
Aug 23, 2016 Dania rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember being given this book by my aunt when I was little. Probably the first proper English novel I read, since English is not my native language. I also learned the phrase "Roses are red, violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, and so are you." from this book. I must say that as a kid, this book really mesmerised me.
Kris
Filled with insipid, shallow morals. All the characters are boring and one-dimensional. If you want to teach children about patience in dealing with hardships, there's better ways to do it. This felt like an antiquated version of stories with The Millers.
Sidra
Jan 21, 2011 Sidra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, owned, favorites
I have always loved this book, even as a teenager. I felt as if could relate to Katy. And when Katy was paralyzed, I too felt paralyzed and learned how to be patient and kind with her.
Amanda
Sep 22, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
So this book was sorta weird, in as much as I'm not really sure what I think of it. I started out really liking it. The antics of Katy and her siblings made me laugh out loud several times. Katy is a tomboy, impulsive, always getting into some scrape, saying the first that pops in her head...in other words, fun. The kind of girl most of us would have loved for a friend when we were that age.

~*~*~*~SPOILERS TO FOLLOW~*~*~*~*~*~

The problem, though, is when Cousin Helen comes in half way through th
...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
I came across What Katy Did while browsing bookshelves at The Works (and I also bought What Katy Did Next & What Katy Did at School and Little Women & Good Wives, all Wordsworth Classics editions). I knew nothing about What Katy Did, which seems to be a relatively unknown children's classic. I thought it would be similar to books such as Betsy-Tacy and Milly-Molly-Mandy but for a slightly older age group, which it is. At first.

Katy Carr is a spontaneous and playful 12-year-old who is the
...more
Fromwordstoworlds
May 02, 2016 Fromwordstoworlds rated it it was ok
The book was published in 1872 and it is the story of a girl, Katy Carr, who is twelve and lives in Burnet, a small town, with her father, her two brothers and three sisters and Aunt Izzie, her father’s sister. Katy’s mother has died a few years before the story begins. The father is a very kind man but a very busy doctor who works all day so the children are supervised by their aunt who is a small woman with good intentions but no control.

Katy is the leader, she is a bright, funny girl, with an
...more
Katie (It's Time to Read) Leversuch
I remember having this when I was little, simply because my name is Katie too (although note the different spelling) and I don’t think I ever read it. That all changed when I decided to read some of the Wordsworth Children’s Classics. I liked this book and I will read the next two, although this has not been my favourite from the classics.

The story follows Katy Carr as she does some serious growing up. At the beginning of the book she is carefree, and although not inconsiderate, she thinks more
...more
M Strawberry
I read this many years ago, but I still remember it fondly. It's a wonderful old classic like Anne of Green Gables, but it is shocking how underrated this book is. It's one of these books filled with the adventures (and misadventures) of a spirited girl named Katy Carr, though her siblings also play a part in this book (albeit smaller)

One can only wonder how Katy would have fared today after her accident. With today's medical technology, she probably would have been on her feet a LOT more quickl
...more
Melanie Goetz
This starts out very pleasantly, with the story of Katy, a tomboy who is creative, feisty and very clumsy at times, and her family, consisting of 5 brothers and sisters, an often absent father (due to his job as a doctor) and his sister who takes care of the children. The plot, however, develops in a very troubling manner because it takes a severe accident for Katy to realize who she "really wants to be". The way her recovery and her transformation into a proper housewife and model for 19th ...more
Amy
Nov 29, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
My favourite in the trilogoy was always What Katy Did at School which I read many times (I would read anything set at a school, though) and I know I found this one terribly dull. I remembered What Katy Did as overly pious and hard work - but, having said that, it must have been fifteen years since I read it last. At least!

Well. I recently read it for free on my phone Kindle app and I wouldn't call it dull now, exactly - and pious is not the word either. Or, at least Katy is not. Cousin Helen is
...more
Dina rahadian
Sep 27, 2007 Dina rahadian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rasanya, lima bintang aja gak cukup, deh.
gue baca buku ini udah lama banget, tapi masih tersimpan rapi di lemari gue. Dan ketika kaka gue minta sumbangan buku buat perpusnya, buku ini tetep tersimpan di tempatnya.
Ceritanya sederhana, tapi mudah melekat di semua hati dan otak setiap orang. Itu yang jadi kelebihan utamanya.
Tentang Katy yang menjadi anak sulung dari segerombolan anak di sebuah keluarga yang tinggal di peternakan besar. Dia super bandel. Sampe suatu ketika, karena kebandelannya, dia
...more
Emilie
Jul 16, 2012 Emilie rated it it was ok
So firstly, because I have this in Kindle version and there is no spiel on the Amazon page (or I couldn't be bothered to find one prior to downloading), I did not realise this was a children's book until I began reading it. I enjoyed the first bit before Katy was a moron and broke herself (thou shalt not disobey thy elders!), but then it became a little too moralistic for my liking. Of course this was written in a different time for an audience with different sensibilities, but I still think the ...more
Christiane
From the back cover: "Katy was a tomboy who was often naughty and rebellious...One day she had a bad accident because she was disobedient. It was two years before she was able to walk again...in the interval she learned to be as loving and patient as her beautiful invalid cousin Helen." Originally published in 1872 this book is laughable today, but think of all the little girls given this over the years and encouraged to model themselves on Katy. The really interesting character, I thought, is ...more
Emillybeth
Jan 22, 2016 Emillybeth rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Feb 18, 2016 Chris rated it did not like it
If I had to censor a book, this would be it. This book was written in a time when disabled people were encouraged to make their first priority in life to not be a "burden" to anyone. a "role model" in the book for a young girl who has been paralyzed spends half the book explaining that people with disabilities should never want or need anything, be always cheerful, and never ever complain. I get that books often have out dated ideas in them- I've enjoyed little women and Laura Ingalls wilder, ...more
Mounica Srinivas
Sep 22, 2015 Mounica Srinivas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mounica by: Kaveri
I cant really find enough words to describe this book. This was a simple but a luxurious read. Some people might perceive it as a story from Moral Stories text book , but not for me. It made me thoughtful.

I am pretty comfortable with the way my life is but still i keep cribbing about things not happening. But what if I also get bed ridden like Katy does . Imagining life like that is not just that easy. I wouldn't really feel great if I would have read this book after something happened , but rea
...more
Kathryn
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
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
2 1/2 stars for this book that I enjoyed immensely as a child. I enjoyed it somewhat less this time around.

That may have something to do with the narrator, whose voice I did not feel was particularly suited to the story.

Pamela
Aug 15, 2016 Pamela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
One of my all time favourite books as a child.
This book taught me so much about dealing with pain, frustration, loss, and obedience, although if you'd asked me when I was a child I probably would have just said I loved the characters and that I connected with the story.
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2015 Reading Chal...: What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge 1 7 Nov 26, 2015 05:44PM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book Review 3 1 4 Aug 08, 2014 01:41PM  
What Katy Did on DVD.... 1 20 Jul 05, 2013 11:49AM  
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387955
Sarah Chauncey Woolsey was an American children's author who wrote under the pen name Susan Coolidge.

Woolsey was born January 29, 1835, into the wealthy, influential New England Dwight family in Cleveland, Ohio. Her father was John Mumford Woolsey (1796–1870) and mother was Jane Andrews. She spent much of her childhood in New Haven Connecticut after her family moved there in 1852.

Woolsey worked a
...more
More about Susan Coolidge...

Other Books in the Series

Carr Family (5 books)
  • What Katy Did at School (Carr Family, #2)
  • What Katy Did Next (Carr Family, #3)
  • Clover (Carr Family, #4)
  • In the High Valley (Carr Family, #5)

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“She read all sorts of things: travels, and sermons, and old magazines. Nothing was so dull that she couldn't get through with it. Anything really interesting absorbed her so that she never knew what was going on about her. The little girls to whose houses she went visiting had found this out, and always hid away their story-books when she was expected to tea. If they didn't do this, she was sure to pick one up and plunge in, and then it was no use to call her, or tug at her dress, for she neither saw nor heard anything more, till it was time to go home.” 29 likes
“To-morrow I will begin," thought Katy, as she dropped asleep that night. How often we all do so! And what a pity it is that when morning comes and to-morrow is to-day, we so frequently wake up feeling quite differently; careless or impatient, and not a bit inclined to do the fine things we planned overnight.” 19 likes
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