Sunday 26 July 2015

Imogen’s Book of the Week: Katy, by Jacqueline Wilson (Puffin, 30th July)

Hello! Last week was lost, alas, to the glory of YALC – but this week I’m returning to MG Strikes Back with my Sunday best: Jacqueline Wilson’s ‘Katy’, published by Puffin on the 30th July 2015.

Image result for katy jacqueline wilson

‘Katy’ is a retelling of Susan Coolidge’s What Katy Did; a book I adored as a child, but found problematic on re-reading. Coolidge’s young characters, including eponymous Katy Carr, long, leggy, irrepressible, and always tumbling into trouble with the best of intentions, and her five delightful siblings, have worn pretty well. But the plot, in which Katy falls from a swing and injures her back, but is restored to full mobility after transforming herself into a sweet-natured ‘little mother’ and angel in the home, is less palatable. For disabled readers, their families, and anyone who cares about treating disability as more than a convenient trope to be smoothed away into a happily ever after, What Katy Did tends now to leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.

Image result for what katy did book

Spoiler alert - Jacqueline Wilson’s ‘Katy’ has no such plot-convenient happy ending. Katy Carr is the eldest of six, a lively, risk-taking teller of tall tales and setter of bad examples, perpetually in trouble at school and with her stepmum, Izzie. One day, sullen at being left out of a family outing, she improvises a makeshift swing and falls, suffering irreversible damage to her spine. Fun-loving, daredevil Katy must now adapt to life as a wheelchair user – and to a very different family dynamic. In her own inimitable, funny, but uncompromising style, Wilson faces and translates Katy’s overwhelming pain and grief, her parents’ sorrow, her friends’ self-conscious discomfort, and her siblings’ blunders as they try to come to terms with a new version of their beloved leader.

This book, a serious contender for JW’s career best, made me heave enormous, headache-inducing sobs, and left me feeling like a kitten put through a spin cycle - but I’m grateful that Wilson has written it. Refusing to temporise or hedge its bets, ‘Katy’ is raw, honest, and ultimately uplifting, carefully balancing grief, acceptance and tentative optimism. In hospital, Katy dreams that she can walk again, and wakes to renewed heartbreak; she also meets the blackly funny Dexter, with whom she can share her sorrow. Her best friend Cecy is, at first, standoffish to Katy-in-a-wheelchair – but they manage to break through the thin, icy strangeness between them, and rediscover their bond. Katy has lost a great deal, but her life is not over – and a rich future still awaits her, although it’s not the one she had expected.

Wilson’s Carrs are a thoroughly blended bunch, the product of two marriages, which feels like a particularly astute authorial decision, helping to make sense of the sheer size of the family, which might otherwise feel hard to believe for contemporary kids. Wilson took a similar approach when she revisited E. Nesbit a few years back, with a splendidly comic Psammead homage, ‘Four Children and It’. What she has done with Coolidge’s dated masterpiece, however, far surpasses her source; and deserves to be read, wept over, and appreciated as a classic in its own right.


  1. Its really fantastic. Something interesting to read too. Keep sharing this type useful article for us.

    Cheap custom essay service

  2. information which is very useful at all, after reading this we are very interested to read the other information

    obat penghilang bekas koreng tradisional,obat pereda kolesterol tinggi tradisional,obat pereda nyeri ambeien tradisional,pengobatan tradisional kanker endometrium,pengobatan tradisional tumor mamae,cara menghilangkan kadas dan kurap,pengobatan tradisional kanker kelenjar getah bening,obat penyumbatan tuba falopi tradisional,pengobatan tradisional radang usus buntu,cara mengjaga kolesterol tubuh agar tetap stabil,bahaya penyakit radang panggul,bahaya penyakit mani encer,cara menurunkan ldl dan meningkatkan hdl,cara menyembuhkan perlemakan hati,efeksamping mengonsumsi obat anti tbc,cara cepat menurunkan berat badan setelah melahirkan,cara alami agar rambut hitam dan berkilau,cara alami menyembuhkan campak,cara cepat menurunkan kolesterol dan trigliserida tinggi,cara menyembuhkan gatal pada selangkangan,cara alami mengobati keputihan abnormal,pengobatan herbal penyakit parkinson,obat kista tiroid tanp operasi,obat penyempitan tulang belakang herbal,obat penghancur lemak di perut tradisional,pengobatan tradisional emfisema paru,obat pereda sakit kepala sebelah tradisional,cara mengatasi penyakit ankilosis,cara mengatasi mata lelah akibat komputer,cara mengatasi kulit hipersensitif,pengobatan tradisional retinitis pigmentosa,pengobatan tradisional mata juling,pengobatan untuk mengurangi mata minus,cara cepat mengatasi trigliserida tinggi,cara mengobati penyakit selulitis orbitalis,pengobatan tradisional wasir (ambeien),obat pereda nyeri pinggang tradisional,pengobatan tradisional luka gangren,cara mengobati penyakit skleritis,pengobatan tradisional retinopati diabetik,pengobatan kanker rongga mulut