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Peeling Potatoes: Katie's Story Cover Image
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Peeling Potatoes: Katie's Story

Book 1:

     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 school 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?

Rocked in The Cradle of Coal series: Children of the PennsylvaniaCoal 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 a 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 persevered 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 conversations are purely a product of oral tradition and the author’s imagination…but they could have happened in any immigrant home at that time.

Book 2 in the series will be coming out on February 7, 2023!


"What a great beach read for me and my niece! She had a ball reading this to me, sounding out all the new words and learning about a new culture. It’s rare these days to come across a book that is educational, engaging, and wholesome. This checks all the boxes.
Seeing the excitement in my niece’s eyes as she read this was priceless. It brought up wonderful memories for me of the first time I read Anne of Green Gables. My niece fell in love with Katie the same way I did with Anne. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!!!"

"I enjoyed reading this sweet little story. And learning the meaning of the bold printed words in the end. Thank you for such a sweet story. The way of life seemed hard. And yet blessed at the same time... you will not be disappointed if you stop by to visit Katie and her family."

"Thank you for bringing memories of hearing stories “of de oldengg days, jaaa” of my great grandparents' lives. I’m craving halushki, kielbasa, and perogies !!"

Very well written story. I am 60 and greatly enjoyed the book. Jayne M. Booth's style reminds me of my childhood favorite, Laura Ingalls Wilder.

This was a very good book and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

Just the kind of book I would have loved in elementary school... effortlessly taking me to a different time and place, giving me a glimpse of another culture, and making me fall in love with the main family of characters. This one has earned a spot in my library for my grandkids.