Peeling Potatoes: Katie’s Story


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Peeling Potatoes: Katie’s Story by Jayne M. Booth.  Book 1 of the Rocked in the Cradle of Coal series.  122 pages.


“Rocked in The Cradle of Coal Series: Children of the Pennsylvania Coal Mines

Northeastern Pennsylvania was the cradle of the coal industry in the early 1900s.  Immigrants escaping poverty and hunger in Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, and other countries were eagerly recruited by the anthracite mine barons to provide cheap labor in exchange for the promise of a better life in North America.  Upon arriving in their new country, immigrants soon discovered that the streets were not made of gold.  becaue they were part of the vast low-skilled labor force and did not speak English well (although they may have spoken three or four other languages), they faced prejudice and were ridiculed with ethnic slurs.

With Limited Resources and a language barrier that separated them from the mainstream culture, these proud immigrants found strength in ethnic neighborhoods, societies, and their faith,  They preserved with a strong work ethic, self-respect, and love for each other,  Rocked in the Cradle of Coal stories are based on fact although not politically correct by today’s standards.  The Situations and conversation are purely a product of oral tradition and the author’s imagination… but they could have happened in any immigrant home at the time.

Book 1

Peeling Potatoes: Katie’s Story

It is 1914.  katie lives with her widowed mother and four older siblings on the edge of a coal mine near the river.  her young life is about to change.  She must start chool one year early so Mama can work fulltime.  Katie speaks Russian, but she hardly knows any English words.  She’s shy, she doesn’t know any other children in the first grade, and she’s a year younger than everyone else.  She wants to be brave and help her family.  Can she do it?”