The Opposite of Unbearable: A Review of What Katy Did


It happens to all of us at one point or another when you’re reading. Maybe you’re at the library, at your grandparent’s house, at that charming bookstore on the end of the road, or even in front of your own bookshelf: you come upon a book where a spunky, hardy girl transforms into a lifeless, uninteresting, tittering creature, such as in Stargirl. How horrible. But I have made a discovery. Not all books along these lines are poison to our minds. In fact, some of them are even enjoyable!

What Katy Did, by Susan Coolidge, tells the story of Katy Carr, a feisty, active girl, who is forever ripping her dress. But one day, after a scolding by Aunt Izzie, defiant Katy takes a dreadful fall. After her cousin Helen comes to visit her, Katy takes the first steps to becoming the sweet, loving person she dreams of being. With unique characters and inspiring lessons, What Katy Did is the exact opposite of unbearable.

The characters in What Katy Did all had unique personalities, some of which send you into convulsions of laughter or force you to make grimaces. Take Dorry, the hilarious food-lover who remains greatly frustrated when denied a third helping at dinner. When he appears in the story, I often end up snorting. But I always groan when Imogen (one of Katy’s strange friends) flounces across the pages. Imogen, all frills and bows, has nothing interesting in her head. Lovely characters inhabit the pages of this book, but some despicable personalities shove their way through as well!

When Katy lay on her bed in pain, Cousin Helen told her about a school she attended, the “School of Pain.” Katy listened, entranced, as Cousin Helen explained about the lessons, such as Hope, Patience, and Kindness. After the visit, Katy works on her lessons. Eventually she becomes the heart of the home and the sweet, loving person she always wanted to be. When I finished the book, I wanted to become a bit like Katy as well. This year, I have resolved to act more patiently, an extremely difficult task for me! However, I am positive it is well worth the effort. (Don’t worry, I won’t lose my Wisdom Zelda zaniness.)

What Katy Did had unique characters and important lessons. But most of all, it showed me that not all “wildish-girl-turns-tamer” books have to be unbearable.

Ages: 9+

You can buy this book here.



  1. Tim says:

    Hi Wisdom,
    I loved reading about your resolution and I’m certain you are already well on your way with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wisdomzelda says:

      Thanks! I don’t know if I’m doing too well on my resolution but I’m still trying! 🙂


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