Tell Me About My Father: Wasyl’s Story



Tell Me About My Father: Wasyl’s Story by Jayne M. Booth.  Book 2 of the Rocked in the Cradle of Coal series.  105 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.  Because 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 2

Tell Me About My Father: Wasyl’s Story

In 1917 the United States is recovering from the costly first World War. Inflation hits hard, especially in the coal regions of Northeastern Pennslyvania. Families are forced to make difficult decisions. What groceries are optional? Does mama really need cream in her coffee? Probably not. Is a nine-year-old boy too young to quit school and work full-time in the mines? Maybe…..maybe not. 

This is Wasyl’s dilemma. He sees his widowed mother struggling to buy food and pay bills. He wants to get a job and help her and his sisters, but Mama insists that he not work in the mines like so many other boys his age are doing. He wishes he had a father to guide him through the harsh realities of growing up in coal country, but Wasyl’s father is a big secret no one ever discusses. He has so many questions. There is so much he doesn’t understand. Is it kinder to keep secrets, or to deal with them honestly and openly even if they hurt? Wasyl is about to find out.