Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

What Katy Did Audio

What Katy Did Audio

Susan Coolidge
For ages 9 to 12
Unabridged audiobook (CD)
Performed/read by: Susan O'Malley
Blackstone Audiobooks, 2005   ISBN: 978-0786181759

Katy Carr is full of good intentions. She means to help take care of her sisters and her brother and she means to “set a good example” for them. And yet, all too often Katy forgets her many grand resolutions. In a flurry of skirts and long brown hair, Katy is soon off making up and playing all kinds of wild games, tearing her dresses, making holes in her stockings, and getting into all kinds of scrapes. Try as she might she cannot seem to stay out of trouble.

One day Katy wakes up in a cross mood. Nothing seems to go right and when Katy’s Aunt Izzie tells the children that they cannot use the new swing yet, Katy chooses to ignore her aunt’s words. Katy is sure that Aunt Izzie is saying this just to spoil her fun and she is determined to try the swing for herself. Perhaps a good swing will blow away her bad and fretful temper.

Alas for Katy. The swing truly is not ready to be used and just as she is swinging at the highest possible point, the swing breaks and Katy falls to the earth. When she comes to Katy discovers that she has injured herself very badly indeed. If only she had listened to Aunt Izzie; if only she had not been so reckless.

What follows are many months of misery and pain. Katy has hurt her back in some way and she is not going to be able to walk for a long time. Indeed her recovery may take years. For bright and active Katy this state of affairs is heartbreaking and she gives herself up to despair. And then, just when she needs it most, Katy gets some help and she begins to learn some very valuable lessons which help her back onto the road of recovery and life.

This wonderful story is now a classic and though it could be said to be old-fashioned in some ways, it is still a joy to listen to. Many young girls will recognize that they are rather like Katy - well meaning, impetuous, and full of dreams and ideas. Readers will find that the story that Katy’s Papa tells her about “For the want of a nail a shoe was lost” is just as relevant today as it was when the book was first published.

Wonderful descriptions of places and events which are perfectly read by Susan O’Malley help to make this an audio book which listeners will want to hear again and again.