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What Katy Did

(Carr Family #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  18,159 ratings  ·  499 reviews
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 resolution ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published December 22nd 2000 by Roberts Brothers (first published 1872)
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NJ Gatehouse "Pretty things are no more 'worldly' than ugly ones, except when they spoil us by making us vain, or careless of the comfort of other people."

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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  18,159 ratings  ·  499 reviews

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Oct 09, 2010 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
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
Another 2018 re-read! Well, I didn't have any intention to read this today, but after spying a review on my newsfeed yesterday, I thought it might be good to see if my original 3 star rating still holds up today. It was a childhood favorite that my mother told me that her mother had read to her and that she in turn read to me.

I think that I forgot large chunks of this book. But somehow I had remembered good Cousin Helen and Katy 's "invalid " state. But I forgot Katy was the oldest of six, that
Bionic Jean
Like many girls, I read and enjoyed What Katy Did as a child. I use the word “girl” advisedly, as this was written in 1872, and is a typical American girl’s book of the period – perhaps one of the most famous books about a 12 year old girl and her family. It was written by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, using the pen name Susan Coolidge, which she would use for several further novels about the Carr family. The style and concerns are rather like those of “Little Women”, the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alco ...more
Dale Harcombe
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A trip down memory lane to read what was favourite book I read and re-read as a child. Back then I associated with the tomboy Katy and her imaginative stories and games. As an adult I still liked Katy and the Carr family. I loved their plans and games and enthusiasm for life. Perhaps, the style in which it was written is a tad old fashioned. It was written in 1872, but there is still certain charm in the way it is told. It is as though the author is confiding in the reader as she tells her tale, ...more
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
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.
Oct 21, 2015 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
Aug 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
I had initially rated this 2 stars as an okay book, but something has reminded me of it recently, and on thinking it over, I'm forced to rate it down. It contains not one, but three very unpleasant ideas which I wish children weren't exposed to:
1. Kids have to obey unquestioningly, adults don't have to explain.
Any need to expound on this one? The story quite definitely tells us that Katy received her injury because she didn't obey a prohibition, thinking it just one of a long line of "because I
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge is now published by Alma Classics. This fresh new edition is wonderfully illustrated by Susan Hellard. Susan Coolidge is the pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey. The characters in What Katy Did were based on the author Sarah Woolsey and her family.

A little about the Carr family

Katy's name was Katy Carr who is the main character. She is full of life and fun and lives in the town of Burnet.
There were six of the Carr children four girls and two boys.
Twelve year old
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
A wonderful visit with a childhood friend - I have the next two books to reread in the near future.
The Book Queen
Apr 11, 2015 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
Luisa Knight
This family tale is not to be missed! There are such gems of wisdom packed into these pages - you and your children will love benefiting by them.

Written in 1872 and set in Ohio, "What Katy Did" follows the Carr family. Katy and her siblings are not exactly 'purposefully' bad, but they certainly don't stop to think about their actions either. That is, until one day something happens and everyone, though particularly Katy, learn the value of obedience, even in the littlest of requests.

Both Father
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such a happy, delightful book. I am going to keep this really short, not because I didn't like the book, but there awaits my challenge.

This little book is the first of a trilogy. I loved the character of Katy. She is you and me. Elder sister, domineering, annoying, always wanting to be on the top, impulsive, constantly getting into problems, making friends, getting heartbroken - until one day, a fatal accident turns her world upside down. This uplifting story is of Katy who finds a way
Dec 11, 2009 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 yea ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book was actually interesting, but I never read the next books...

It's a one time read for me...

Just someone comment and let me know how the next books are???
Robbie Cheadle
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The What Katy Did books were among my favourite reads when I was in primary school (about 11 years old). I still have my original copies of these books and I recently decided to re-read them. I was delighted to discover that these books still filled me with as much joy and inspiration as they did when a read them as a girl.

Katy is a tall, lanky girl, the oldest of six children, who lost their mother at young ages and who are being raised by their delightful father, Dr Carr, a medical practitione
Mar 20, 2014 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
Rebekah Morris
Did Not Finish

I very rarely do not finish a book unless it has issues I don't want to read. This book didn't have anything objectionable, but I wasn't enjoying it. It is a moralistic book. The main character spends the more than the first half of the book (I reached 57%) getting into one scrape after another, leading her younger siblings astray, and dealing with a prim, strict aunt. The father is a doctor so is hardly every around, and there has been no christian content. I also do not enjoy the
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
We all have our weaknesses and, dear me, I do have a soft spot for 19th-century children's classics. I live for their melodramatic and didactic storytelling. Funnily enough, they also inspire me to be a better person. What Katy Did might not have aged as well as Little Women or A Little Princess (from a modern perspective, the exploration of disability in Katy is quite horrendous), yet it remains a funny, moving book that depicts 19th-century domestic life in precise details.
Kellyn Roth
Pretty sweet. A little preachy, but all children's books from back then were on-the-nose. The only problem is I feel that they beat the spunk out of Katy, but ... I guess that's too be expected from the era. (See Lucinda/Lucilla/that one girl from Elsie Dinsmore. :P)
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i wish i had discovered this book when i was a kid! it’s definitely right up there with the coziness and quaintness of the little house on the prairie books and maybe even little women as well 💜

katy is a young girl with many lofty goals and ambitions. she wants to be famous and save lives and be a shining example to her many siblings.

but her wild ways sometimes get her into trouble.

in this book, she basically goes on a long and at times very painful journey of self discovery that pushes her to
Fern Adams
Jul 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I feel incredibly mixed about this book. I loved it as a child and read it obsessively. However as an adult I had a few more reservations. On the surface I enjoyed it and considering it as something written within its era it is a fantastic read. However it does have concerning messages on that girls should be ‘ladylike’ and happy keeping a house. Also it’s stance on disability as a punishment and that once Katy ‘learned her lessons’ she became better is very troublesome. It fell very much into t ...more
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wholesome and lovely story about being yourself, finding your purpose and living with joy through challenges. This was a true gift to our lunch hours which spilled long into the afternoons simply because we did not want to stop. A true classic and one that we will read again.
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, ebook, 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.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
the terribly boring writing does nothing to make up for the period-appropriate but still god-awful messages about disability, women and unquestioning obedience.
This book was really good I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was from the beginning. Katy started out as a carless and definite girl, then something happens to change her. The faith aspect was very nice and well done.
I feared this would be very dry writing, especially compared to contemporary children's literature, but while I did find it to be moralizing, the prose was at once engaging and humorous as well! I will definitely purchase the rest of this series to read and then to forward to my grandchildren! How delightful!

Millie Hodgson
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
at first I didn't really like it but then I got into it I really liked it and I would like to read other books that follow on
Sharon Hall
May 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
I read this as a child and seem to remember enjoying it....not so much as an adult.
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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

Other books in the series

Carr Family (5 books)
  • What Katy Did at School
  • What Katy Did Next
  • Clover
  • In the High Valley

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