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Poor and Proud, or the Fortunes of Katy Redburn: a Story for Young Folks   By: (1822-1897)

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Poor and Proud, or the Fortunes of Katy Redburn: a Story for Young Folks by Oliver Optic is a heartwarming tale that captivates readers from start to finish. Set in the late 19th century, this coming-of-age story depicts the challenges faced by the titular character, Katy Redburn, as she navigates a life filled with hardship and poverty.

Optic’s writing style is remarkably engaging, effectively transporting readers to the era and immersing them in the struggles and triumphs of young Katy. The author has a keen eye for detail, allowing readers to visualize the settings and feel the emotions of each character. From the dilapidated tenements to the bustling streets of Boston, every scene is skillfully described, enabling readers to fully appreciate the atmosphere of the story.

Katy Redburn, the protagonist, is a deeply relatable character who tugs at the heartstrings of readers. Despite her destitution, she possesses an unwavering determination and an indomitable spirit that inspire admiration. As Katy faces numerous obstacles, including poverty, loss, and prejudice, her resilience shines through, leaving readers rooting for her at every turn.

Optic does an excellent job of highlighting the social and economic disparities of the period. Through Katy's journey, the author sheds light on the harsh realities faced by the less fortunate, offering readers an opportunity to reflect on the injustices of the time. The themes of social mobility and the value of education are exploration in the book, effectively conveying important moral lessons to young readers without being heavy-handed.

While the book offers a clear moral compass, Optic ensures that the story remains entertaining and engaging. The pacing is steady, with various plot twists and unexpected encounters that keep readers hooked. Additionally, the supporting characters are well-developed, each bringing depth to the narrative and adding richness to Katy's world.

Overall, Poor and Proud, or the Fortunes of Katy Redburn: a Story for Young Folks is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers of all ages. Oliver Optic’s masterful storytelling transports us to a bygone era, immersing us in the life of a young girl struggling against adversity. Through its relatable characters, powerful themes, and impactful narrative, this book is an absolute gem and a must-read for anyone seeking an inspirational and immersive story.

First Page:








Poor and Proud.


Bobby Bright and Harry West, whose histories were contained in the last two volumes of the "Library for Young Folks," were both smart boys. The author, very grateful for the genial welcome extended to these young gentlemen, begs leave to introduce to his juvenile friends a smart girl, Miss Katy Redburn, whose fortunes, he hopes, will prove sufficiently interesting to secure their attention.

If any of my adult readers are disposed to accuse me of being a little extravagant, I fear I shall have to let the case go by default; but I shall plead, in extenuation, that I have tried to be reasonable, even where a few grains of the romantic element were introduced; for Baron Munchausen and Sindbad the Sailor were standard works on my shelf in boyhood, and I may possibly have imbibed some of their peculiar spirit. But I feel a lively satisfaction in the reflection that, whatever exaggerations the critic may decide I have perpetrated in this volume, I have made the success of Katy Redburn depend upon her good principles, her politeness, her determined perseverance, and her overcoming that foolish pride which is a snare to the feet... Continue reading book >>

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