The Happy Hollisters
September 12, 2017
Toby Tyler
September 16, 2017

What Katy Did

Quick Glance



This is the total number of incidents in this 240 page book.

*As personal standards vary, please see the breakdown to determine what matters to you.

Author: Susan Coolidge
Key Words: Fiction, Classics, Family, Growing Up

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Book Description:

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge is a classic much loved by adults and children alike. Katy Carr intends to be beautiful and beloved and as sweet as an angel one day. For now, though, her hair is forever in a tangle, her dress is always torn and she doesn't care at all for being called 'good'. But then a terrible accident happens and Katy must find the courage to remember her daydreams and the delightful plans she once schemed; for when she is grown up she wants to do something grand . . . A wonderful, family story.


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Children's Bad Words

Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 2 Incidents

pooh, stupid

Name Calling - 3 Incidents

pig, stupid girl, artful puss

Religious Profanities - 2 Incidents

Mercy on me, oh gracious

Romance Related - 6 Incidents

A girl dreams that when she’s older “all the young gentlemen will want me to go and ride, but I shan’t notice them …”

Following the above, another girl says, “it would be nice to go ride with the young gentlemen sometimes.”

Children make up a story about a knight and the lady he is in love with.

A girl is thought to be “a real heroine of romance.”

The word “breast” is used to mean chest.

The word “breast-pin” is used.

Conversation Topics - 7 Incidents

There are two rival girl schools. “The Miller girls, on the other hand, retaliated by being as aggravating as they knew how. They spent their recesses and intermissions mostly in making faces…”

A girl asks her father what “makes some days so lucky and other days so unlucky.” He explains that it is not luck but her choices.

Mentions champagne bottles (as a description).

Two girls decide to “adopt” a little neighbor girl and raise her themselves. They hide their “live doll” in the attic and decide not to tell their parents until their baby is grown up.

A girl and father have a discussion on friends and people who make up things so much and try to get people to think it really happened.

A “poetic” explanation or question as to what happens to good intentions and our attitudes at the start of the day.

The aunt tells the children not to swing on a swing until she tells them they can. The author says it was unwise of the aunt to give no explanation and that the aunt’s theory “that young people must obey their elders without explanation,” is incorrect.

Attitudes/Disobedience - 17 Incidents

“Katy ...didn’t care a button about being called ‘good’.”

“The children minded her pretty well, but they didn’t exactly love her, I fear.”

Children fight over a doll and the father handles the situation unjustly.

Siblings didn’t want a sister to tag along.

Sisters fight and make a rude comment.

A girl blames her aunt for making her late to school, saying “she has been so horrid,” when it was her own fault. She repents later.

Children don’t mind their aunt’s hints to be quiet in church.

Siblings burn an older sister’s book.

Their aunt orders a game not to be played any longer but the children reason away their disobedience.

Siblings argue.

A girl starts telling a lie but thinks better of it.

A girl says something mean about the children’s aunt.

Children are rude, wishing that their cousin wouldn’t visit.

Her aunt tells her not to go upstairs and “Katy rebelled against this order a good deal.”

Katy is jealous that her sister gets attention.

Siblings pout, two sisters argue and one disobeys her aunt.

A girl becomes an invalid due to her disobedience and while she is in bed “everybody was very kind and patient with her, but she was too selfishly miserable to notice it.”

Religious & Supernatural - 2 Incidents

Children imagine fairies in the woods and a sister makes up a story.

A sister makes up a story with a wizard in it.

Parent Takeaway

The first part of the book shows how the children in the Carr family don’t behave very well and how in the second part they all learn a valuable lesson and work to behave and mend their ways. There are many wonderful lessons in this book.

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