In Bookworm by Lucy Mangan, she mentioned What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge, a nineteenth century book I remember reading at much the same time in primary school at which I met the March sisters, Pollyanna and that one girl’s friend Flicka. It was one of those improving kids’ books that aren’t really what we’d consider eminently suitable reading for primary school kids these days, but that everyone then thought of as both age appropriate and of literary worth for a bookworm like me.
When Mangan described the book, though, I realized that I hadn’t actually read it all. I had definitely read the first part, the “few chapters of delightful adventures and mischief-making,” but I did not remember the part where Katy became bedridden and saintly at all. Meanwhile, I knew I had two sequels to the book, What Katy Did at School and What Katy Did Next, in my possession, and I certainly had not read either of those.
It was time to find out exactly what Katy did, indeed, do.
And what she did was she fell off a swing, became temporarily paralyzed, learned to be forbearing, and learned to walk again. (Not, as Mangan reports her sister — not a big reader — said when she finished the book as a child: “Katy did nothing!” ) It’s kind of dull, and also weirdly full of death for a book given to me by my godparents for my seventh birthday, but I have to admit that I am intrigued enough about Katy’s reambulatory life post-what she did that I am definitely keen to find out what she did at school.
Not to mention which of her family members are destined to die next.
TBR DAY 272: What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
GENRE: Children’s Fiction, Classics
TIME ON THE TBR: 8 years.
PURCHASED FROM: It was a gift when I was seven.
KEEP: Yes, because it was a gift when I was seven!