Sunday, December 28, 2014
Book Review: Katie John by Mary Calhoun (1960)
I owned this book as a child and never read it. Knowing what I was like, this was probably because the first chapter mentions the possibility of ghosts and I hated to be scared. Otherwise, this is exactly the kind of book I have always enjoyed, about real kids doing regular things and finding their own excitement. Katie John has much in common with contemporary characters like Ivy and Bean, Clementine, the Penderwick sisters, and Judy Moody, and her personality is just the right combination of sweetness and trouble. Though this book was published in 1960, there is no reason kids today - especially those living in small towns themselves - can't relate to Katie. Her concerns about moving, making friends, and figuring out what made Great Aunt Emily tick are things that will always interest kids, no matter the time period. Katie John also makes a nice read-alike for another vintage favorite from around the same time, Gone-Away Lake.