...on your bookshelf! WHAT KATY DID is the lively story of Katherine Carr, the eldest of six children-the others are Clover, Elsie, Dorry (a boy), Johnnie (Joanna, a girl), and Phil. Her father, Dr. Carr, doesn't mind Katy being lively and adventurous, but she is also heedless, untidy, and sometimes unkind to her siblings and doesn't care about the work she causes her Aunt Izzie, who cares for the motherless brood. Katy's days are full of "scrapes" like playing "the game of the Rivers" at school and the hide-and-seek game in the dark, Kikeri, until she is involved in a terrible accident. From there she must learn to rebuild her life; she is helped by Cousin Helen, who has not let the paralysis of her legs affect her mind or her heart. While it is true that Katy is "tamed" by her accident, she eventually still remains the innovative, fun-loving girl she was before. The chapter about Katy's Christmas and Valentine's Day plans, especially the latter, make you wish we celebrated the holidays the way they did 100 years ago!
This is a great book-for a long time I liked it much better than LITTLE WOMEN-because Katy is even more lively and ingenious than Jo March. The sequels are also good, especially the first.
There are four sequels to KATY, only two of which are in print, sadly. WHAT KATY DID AT SCHOOL follows Katy's and Clover's adventures at Hillsover, a boarding school in the East. Here they meet one of the KATY books most memorable characters, the mischievous "Rose Red" who makes their year's stay lively, to say the least. The girls play wonderful games in their spare time, including something called "Word and Question" that sounds like great fun, and Katy even "tames" Miss Jane, the humorless hall monitor, and lives down an accusation. Here we meet the Carrs' cousins the Pages, Olivia and her husband and children, the selfish Lilly, who's at school with the girls, and Clarence, a teasing boy who takes a shine to Clover.
In WHAT KATY DID NEXT, Katy accompanies her neighbor Mrs. Ashe and her daughter Amy on "the Grand Tour" of Europe. This is a wonderful portrait of how people traveled to England, France, Italy, and other European countries 100 years ago. It also paints a not-so-pleasant picture of a time when many diseases were rife, and of all the troubles Katy has when Amy comes down with "Roman fever" (typhoid, I believe). But is also there Katy meets Ned Worthington, Mrs. Ashe's brother, and discovers something new to do next!
The out-of-print sequels-please, someone republish!--follow the adventures of Clover and the rest of the family. In CLOVER, she and Phil, who has been sick and has been prescribed "good mountain air" as the best cure, move to a little town high in the Colorado Rockies, where they discover new friends and some old ones-to the person who wondered what happened to Clarence, he is coincidentally living nearby on a ranch with his British partner Geoffrey. It is there Clover realizes Clarence would like their old friendship to be something more.
IN THE HIGH VALLEY is the fifth and last title in the sequence. In this story, Geoffrey's brother Lionel and sister Imogen come to live at the ranch with him. Imogen is prepared to hate the West but gradually warms to the Colorado countryside and grows to love the Carr family, perhaps one more than the other. Note: in this book we finally find out what "Dorry" stands for: Theodore!