Katie's Wish
by Susan Spierling Smith

"She loved gazing at the fish that swam so near she could almost touch them. One very large fish seemed to understand her feelings."

Katie, whose parents have just passed away in an accident, is a young girl going to live with her aunt. Her harsh aunt teaches her to do chores such as cooking, cleaning, and gathering and chopping firewood. Her aunt withholds food when her niece makes mistakes such as pulling vegetables which she thinks are weeds. Katie begins to see small hints of kindness from her aunt and wishes she could be nice all of the time. As Katie spends time with her only friends, the animals in the woods, she meets a fish named Carp that speaks to her. He takes her on an underwater adventure that could change her entire life. Who will she meet on her underwater journey? Will Katie’s wish for her aunt to be nicer come true? Will she make a life for herself in the cabin in the woods, or is she destined to find a new home of more loving and welcoming people?

This moving story takes the reader on a journey of sorrow, grief, healing, the complicated bonds of family, and new friendships. Katie shows perseverance and intelligence by learning to cook and staying strong during challenging times with Aunt Clara. The reader will find the making of lye soap chapter very descriptive and reflective of the setting and the story. Spierling Smith weaves a page-turning story of forgiveness and family in this heartwarming book. The personification of Old King Crab and Carp is both entertaining and a creative way to keep the reader engaged. Readers will be delighted by the unexpected twist at the end of the story and will look forward to following Katie in future adventures.

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