Susan Coolidge - What Katy Did - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349009599
    • Publication date:06 Jul 2017
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What Katy Did

By Susan Coolidge

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The 'What Katy Did' trilogy was first published in the late 1800s, but was there ever such a modern girl as wild, irrepressible Katy? One of the first realistic portraits of a child in literature, the character was groundbreaking and the book is as enjoyable today as when it was first published.

The 'What Katy Did' trilogy was first published in the late 1800s, but was there ever such a modern girl as wild, irrepressible Katy? What makes this novel so groundbreaking is Coolidge's realistic portrait of a childhood, with the high spirits, temper tantrums and naughtiness you'd expect to see in any 'normal' child. Coolidge is not interested in sermonising and morals, and her characters aren't in a continual quest for perfection; she's interested in the people, their imperfections, a family and its dynamics. Which is why these books are so enjoyable to a modern audience, and why they deserve to be championed.

This was one of my favourite books as a child. The children felt real enough to touch, and I fell head over heels in love with Katy. It's a book with an unstoppable heart - Katherine Rundell

One of my all-time favourite books . . . It's a wonderful book, very easy to read, even though it was published in the 19th century. It's a very lively funny story - Jacqueline Wilson

Katy speaks with a charm and directness that remains as fresh as when it was written - Amanda Craig


This collection of the best in children's literature, curated by Virago, will be coveted by children and adults alike. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Little Princess,The Secret Garden) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

Biographical Notes

Susan Coolidge was born in 1835 in Cleveland, Ohio, but grew up in Connecticut. During the American Civil War, Coolidge worked as a nurse. Susan Coolidge loved writing stories even when she was a child, and What Katy Did is based Susan and her brothers and sisters when they were young. Susan, like Katy, was a high-spirited, imaginative little girl, who often got into trouble. Her realistic portrait of childhood set her apart from other writers of her time; instead of teaching morals, she was interested in her characters, their imperfections and the dynamics of a family. The 'What Katy Did' trilogy was a huge success.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349009605
  • Publication date: 06 Jul 2017
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Virago
This was one of my favourite books as a child. The children felt real enough to touch, and I fell head over heels in love with Katy. It's a book with an unstoppable heart — Katherine Rundell
One of my all-time favourite books . . . It's a wonderful book, very easy to read, even though it was published in the 19th century. It's a very lively funny story — Jacqueline Wilson
Katy speaks with a charm and directness that remains as fresh as when it was written — Amanda Craig
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