Thursday, October 3, 2013

Katerina's Wish by Jeannie Mobley

Katerina's family lives in a coal mining camp in 1901 but she and her father have a dream of owning their own farm someday.  Unfortunately, the money her father makes in the mine is barely enough to keep the family alive so there isn't anything left to save for the farm.  One day their neighbor Old Jan tells the girls a folktale from their native Bohemia about a magic fish that grants three wishes.  Katerina is skeptical but is surprised when her sisters' silly wishes seem to be granted almost immediately.  She decides to wish for the farm and begins finding unusual ways to save up money despite the opposition of the town grocer who doesn't appreciate the competition.  Katerina finds it hard to keep going when she faces obstacle after obstacle but her initial optimism has inspired others to work towards the dream as well.  I was expecting this book to have a strong fairy tale element to it but other than the initial story of the three wishes there wasn't much else fanciful about it.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed the story anyway and found it to be a good depiction of hard work despite problems and the rewards you can find even if there isn't a fairy tale ending.