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Katerina's Wish

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  333 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
In this moving debut, an immigrant girl discovers that hard work and determination can make dreams come true.

Katerina has a dream. It's her papa's dream, too. Her family came to America to buy their own farm. But a year later, Papa is still working in the dangerous coal mine. Each day, the farm seems farther away.
Then Katerina is reminded of the carp that granted three wis
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Community Reviews

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Dec 29, 2015 Penélope rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens
Es un poco extraño que de los 380 amigos que tengo en Goodreads ninguno de ellos conozca este libro. Pero oye, tampoco os perdéis nada del otro mundo.

La historia trata sobre Katerina y su familia que viajan a América para encontrar mejores oportunidades en la vida. Katerina quiere formar una granja con su familia y hará todo lo posible para conseguirla.

Es un libro infantil y un tanto aburrido aunque los personajes han sido molestos muy molestos.

Empezando por la protagonista Katerina. O sea, est
L.B. Schulman
Jul 10, 2012 L.B. Schulman rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. The setting in colorado's mining country was unique, and I enjoyed zooming in on the fascinating culture of this time. Katerina was such an unusual character. She was spunky, determined, but very grounded. I really enjoy it when I read about characters that have many different sides. The whole time I was reading, I was scared by Katerina's mother's influence on her. It seemed like at any time that Katerina would succumb to the pragmatic philosophy of so many people arou ...more
Cynthia Levinson
Aug 18, 2012 Cynthia Levinson rated it it was amazing
An exquisite debut novel that manages to encompass all of America and its dreams in Katerina, a thoughtful, clever, hard-working and honorable thirteen-year-old living in a coal miners camp in 1900.
Feb 28, 2013 S. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
The saddest thing about this book is that it ended. I started out planning to 'savor' it and read it a little at a time. However, that did not happen. Once the action started, I just could not put it down. The characters drew me in and kept me interested. The story line was well done, showing that the author put much thought into development as well as obvious research on the project overall.

The hope is, there will be a sequel! The story starts off slowly (but don't confuse that with boredom!) a
Thirteen-year-old Czech Katerina hates living in the Colorado mining town where her family tries to eke out a living. Her dearest wish is to return home while her father longs for a farm of his own rather than the dangerous mining job he has taken in order to provide for the family. But Katerina decides to do what she can to help her father's wish come true. (After hearing a folktale about a magical carp that granted three wishes, she happened to see a carp in a nearby stream.) Good luck seems t ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Tara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Quite simply, I adored this book. It reminded me of the very best historical fiction I read as a kid, in that I didn't feel like I was learning a history lesson at all--I just felt totally immersed in the world of the story and invested in the fate of the main character's family as forces beyond their control threatened to crush them.

With skeptical-yet-hopeful Katerina, the author creates a wonderful character to guide us through life in a turn-of-the-century coal camp. She concocts various sche
Mar 14, 2016 Mila rated it really liked it
Such a cute tale about a family who left Bohemia for Colorado in 1900. The “Czechy” family as they preferred to be known as (instead of Greek ha ha) overcame their hardships with the help of their amazingly clever daughter. What a gal! Magical realism and Czech fairy tales (which are similar to Grimm’s Fairy tales but before Disney got to them.) Also, the graphic of a dandelion clock that begins each chapter, with the removal of one more seed each time, is really delightful.
Jun 27, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
This had such promise: a Czech immigrant family in the Colorado minefields, living in what is clearly a company town, struggles to survive the clash between their dreams of a better life in America and the reality of what they've found, intermixed with classic fairy/folk tales that highlight and illustrate their situation (which is, when you think about it, what fairy/folk tales were supposed to do!). Where this falls apart is the lack of realization about what their situation really is. If farm ...more
Nov 19, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Wendy by: Laura Resau
A sweet, well-written story with a great sense of place. I liked this book best in the first third or so, when it seemed more like magical realism woven into a commonplace historical fiction plot, with plenty of Czech ethnic details and stories; the details of the mining community and the family's real-life struggles were less interesting to me. Katerina's growth during the book is both significant and realistic-seeming, and the romance is sweet without being dumb; I thought the author did a gre ...more
I really like this book, and the girl in the book, Katerina is kind of like me because she is the oldest, and she is also Czech.(view spoiler)

I seriously do not like the ending of Katerina's Wish
Sep 14, 2015 Emilee rated it really liked it
The novel occurs around the turn of the century. People coming to America for a fresh start and the opportunity to own land. Katerina's family is no different. They have been in America for over a year and her father is still working in the dangerous coal mines. Money is tight and Katerina's hopes and dreams are bigger that what her family currently has. She read a folktale where a girl makes a wish with a carp. She encounters a similiar experience and is determined that it will come true. Her m ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
The cover of Katerina's Wish by Jeannie Mobley bears study before cracking open its pages because many inferences can be made from its careful construction.(See the small insert above.)The story is about a young girl not from this era, based upon her apron-fronted dress and books. She must be making a wish as she is looking off and blowing dandy lion seeds (much as one would pluck off daisy petals. The setting must be pastoral as she is sitting on a fence near a flower-surrounded pond or river w ...more
Terri Lynn
Feb 08, 2015 Terri Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
This book was recommended to me by Goodreads and turned out to be just wonderful. Katerina, her mom and dad, and her two younger sisters Aneshka and little Holena had moved to the United States from Czechoslovakia the year before, following her coal miner father's dream of wanting to own a real farm of his own. He had thought that they would be able to save up quickly for a farm but was left disappointed that they could save nothing. Next door lives Old Jan, a fellow Czech who used to work in th ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
Hey, I liked this book. Took me about 50 pages to get into it, but then I left my snorting and facepalming behind and just let it take me.

First of all, knowing a family who's Czech, it totally interested me that this girl's family moved from the area that is now the Czech Republic! Of course, that was all we ever heard about it--nothing much culture-wise was talked about--but it was interesting nonetheless.

And speaking of the characters, I liked them! They were each unique in their own way and
Jul 26, 2012 Jeanne rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story of determination, community and big dreams. Katerina, whose family immigrates to the U.S. from Bohemia around 1900, uses wits, hard work and determination in her quest to help her family escape from the drudgery (and danger) of living in a coal-mine town. This charming story includes folktales, a twisting plot and romance. Katerina is a strong female character who I fell in love with.
Sharon Lawler
Historical fiction based in the Colorado mining camps, and focused on immigrants who left their homeland in the hope that they would have a better life in the US. Great use of folktales to enhance the story, especially the carp and three wishes. Reminded me of a softer, easier version of The Jungle, and the story is relevant today. This is the author's first novel.
Sarah Schantz
Mar 02, 2014 Sarah Schantz rated it it was amazing
This book is a balancing act between whimsy and harsh reality, between dreaming big and the oppression of hard-core poverty; this balancing act is further represented by Katerina's parents, and their seemingly conflicting views concerning the act of dreaming and the act of not-dreaming--a relationship further mirrored by Katerina, herself, and her beau, Marek. Papa brought his family to America to follow the pursuit of the American dream, and because of this--because it is a major theme in the b ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Kita rated it it was amazing
My 9-year-old daughter and I loved this middle grade historical fiction novel by local author Jeannie Mobley. The storyline had us turning the pages, and I loved that Lucy was learning about mining and farming in southern Colorado in the early 1900s.
Jan 22, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it
Mobley does a great job bringing to life the late 19th century mining Colorado immigrant story. She gets the lives, desires, hopes and realities right. The story reminds me of Sinclair Lewis' the Jungle. Unlike the jungle, however Katerina's Wish is much tamer and more appropriate for the young reader for which it is aimed. Having said that, Mobley careful crafting of the story still describes the abusive system which many immigrants lived and died within. Yet, unlike, Sinclair Lewis' Characters ...more
Anna Lay
Oct 30, 2014 Anna Lay rated it liked it
After reading 14 pages of Katerina's Wish by Jeannie Mobley, I chose not to read it for my second book report. I chose to not read it for my book report because it wasn't very interesting and it had a really slow start. Another reason I chose to not read this book was because it wasn't a very action packed book and it wasn't very challenging to read. Lastly, I thought that it wasn't that bad of a book but I didn't really want to do it for my book project. Because of these reasons, I rated the bo ...more
Mary Louise Sanchez
Katerina, age thirteen, and her family have been in America for a year after immigrating from Bohemia in 1900 with their cultural stories and big dreams.

Her papa's dream is to own a farm but the reality is he works in a Colorado coal mine and may never earn enough to leave. They owe their "souls to the company store" which determines the price of merchandise because there is no competion.

Katerina and her sisters love the story of the fish who grants wishes and when Katerina escapes to a pond fr
Taryn Pierson
Jul 28, 2014 Taryn Pierson rated it really liked it
Katerina and her family came to America from Bohemia to find a better life. It is now 1901, and Trina's father is working in a coal mine in Colorado instead of farming his own land as he hoped. Trina and her two younger sisters help their mother with the laundry she takes in to earn extra money, but there is never anything left over to save up to buy land. None of Trina's father's dreams have come true in America—life is hard and doesn't show any signs of getting better. Most days Trina wishes t ...more
Ms. Yingling
Dec 05, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
Life in a Colorado mining town in the early 1900s is rough for Katerina's Bohemian immigrant family. They never seem to be able to save enough money to buy a farm, and everyone is unhappy about how hard life is. Katerina makes a wish for a farm, but it is her hard work that brings the family closer to making this happen. She starts a garden, raises chickens, and makes a deal with a merchant in a nearby town to undercut the company store and turn a profit. When an accident in the mine affects man ...more
From August 2012 School Library Journal:
Gr 4-7:Katerina's father's dreams of a better life brought the family of five from Bohemia to America, but now, in the spring of 1901, instead of the prosperous farm he envisioned, they are in a coal-mining camp in southern Colorado, and his wages are barely enough to eke out a living. Katerina, 13, is a pragmatist like her mother, but when she sees a carp in the creek, she is reminded of the folktale her grandmother told her in which a fish granted an old
Kristi Betts
Jul 23, 2013 Kristi Betts rated it it was amazing
Katerina's Wish is a wonderful coming of age book about a young Bohemian girl and her family who have come to the United States in the early 1900s. They make their way to a southern Colorado coal mining town and live in a home owned by the mining company. The family is part of a community of other immigrants, also working for the mining company. The three sisters, Trina, Aneshka and Holena, attended school during the fall helping them to learn English. Their mother relied on her daughters to ass ...more
Katerina's Wish by Jeannie Mobley is an excellent book that captures the setting and emotions of the characters with pristine clarity.

While the book takes its time with the set-up, once the plot begins moving, it moves. It is a sweet story in the beginning about a family trying to adjust to life after immigrating to America from Bohemia. All of the pertinent characters are introduced early and prove to be likable.

There is a lot to like about this book, and at this point in time, I can't think o
Sep 04, 2013 Phoebe rated it liked it
Katerina and her family are barely making a go of their new life in America. Papa is a coal miner and this is back-breaking, dangerous work that doesn't seem to bring in enough money. Katerina and her mother and sisters take in laundry to help out. When the girls see a giant carp in the stream one day, they decide he is going to bring them luck, fed as they are on the old stories and mythologies of their homeland, Bohemia. Whether the carp is lucky or not, Katerina begins to realize she can chan ...more
Sep 11, 2013 Helen rated it liked it
Shelves: waw-options
I did like this historical fiction possible WAW nominee. Katerina is a hard working 13 year old living with her family in a coal mining camp. They moved there from Europe to buy a farm, but have not been able to save enough to buy it. Katrina sees a fish in a quiet pond and thinks it might be lucky like in the native fairy tale she remembers. So her sisters each make a wish and they both come true so Katerina makes the third wish that the family finally gets their farm. Then since Katerina can't ...more
Libby Ames
Katerina and her family dream of their own farm in America, but dreams are sometimes slow to come. After a year, Trina’s Papa is still mining coal in dangerous conditions. The extra washing Trina and her sisters take in barely pays for food at the overpriced local store. With layoffs from the mine threatened in the future, dreams feel impossibly foolish.

In spite of the harsh odds, Trina uses her sharp head for business to save money where she can. She plants a garden and tries to raise chickens
Jared Neal
Dec 26, 2015 Jared Neal rated it really liked it
This middle-grade reader was sweet and endearing, and had just a little bit of magic (or did it?). I'm going to try to get my 12 year old to read it, but we will see. I also liked the historical aspect (turn-of-the-century Colorado mining camp), which was used quite well, without making it feel like an overly historical novel. The main character is very well written.
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Goodreads Librari...: Katerina's Wish (ISBN# 9781442433434) - 246 pages 2 20 Feb 24, 2013 11:00PM  
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