An immigrant girl discovers that hard work and determination can make dreams come true in this “top-notch” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) debut that is “a rich story threaded with…a vibrant setting and cast” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
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 wishes in an old folktale. When her younger sisters hear the story, they immediately make wishes. Trina doesn’t believe in such silliness—but what is she to think when her sisters’ wishes come true?
A farm is still too big to wish for. But, with the help of the neighbor’s handsome son, Trina starts building her dream with hard work and good sense. Then tragedy strikes, and it seems that nothing Trina wishes for will ever come true again.
With warmth and gentle humor, Jeannie Mobley tells the story of a girl whose determination is as inspiring as her dreams.
Thirteen-year-old Katerina ( Trina to her family) and her father are both dreamers, and it was her father s dream of a better life that led their family from Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) to southern Colorado in 1900. One year later, having settled in a coal mining camp, they are still buried in work and trapped by debt. Then Trina sees a fish that reminds her of a fairy tale about a magic carp; soon after, her two younger sisters frivolous wishes are granted. Initially skeptical, Trina eventually makes her wish: for a farm that will make her family happy. Several dichotomies define Mobley s debut novel: optimism versus realism, magic versus hard work, and xenophobia versus a neighborly immigrant community. The importance of ingenuity, faith, confidence, and the willingness to dream shine through in a rich story threaded with traditional folk tales, which offers realistic dilemmas and a vibrant setting and cast. As Trina rises above the forces conspiring to quash her dream, readers will appreciate her success as she learns the rewards of persistence. Ages 8 12.