Katy (series)

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The Katy series is a set of novels by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, writing under the pen-name of Susan Coolidge. The first in the series, What Katy Did, was published in 1872 and followed the next year by What Katy Did at School. What Katy Did Next was released in 1886. Two further novels, Clover (1888) and In the High Valley (1890), focused upon other members of the eponymous character's family. The series was popular with readers in the late 19th century.[1]:85

The series was later adapted into a TV series entitled Katy in 1962, and two films, one also called Katy in 1972 and What Katy Did in 1999.



  • Katy (TV series, 1962)
  • Katy (film, 1972)
  • What Katy Did (film, 1999)

Literary Criticism[edit]

Critics are divided about how much the series played into period gender norms and often compare the series to Little Women.[1]:20[2][3][4]:13 Foster and Simmons argue for its subversion of gender in their book What Katy Read: Feminist Re-Readings of ‘Classic’ Stories for Girls by suggesting the series “deconstructs family hierarchies”.[2]


The series is unusual for its time by having an entry which focuses not on the family life at home but at school in What Katy Did at School.[4]:13[5]:348

In a 1995 survey, What Katy Did was voted as one of the top 10 books for 12-year-old girls.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sicherman, Barbara. Well-Read Lives: How Books Inspired a Generation of American Women. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2010. Project MUSE.
  2. ^ a b Kutzer, M. Daphne. "Little women and their books." The Lion and the Unicorn, vol. 20 no. 2, 1996, pp. 288-292. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/uni.1996.0016
  3. ^ Hamilton-Honey, Emily. "Girls' Series Fiction and American Popular Culture ed. by LuElla D'Amico (review)." Children's Literature, vol. 46, 2018, pp. 216-222. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/chl.2018.0012
  4. ^ a b Clark, Beverly Lyon. Regendering the School Story: Sassy Sissies and Tattling Tomboys. Routledge, 2001.
  5. ^ Hunt, Peter, and Sheila G. Bannister Ray. International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature. Routledge, 2014.
  6. ^ "The books children are reading". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 9 March 1999. Retrieved 29 March 2009.

External links[edit]