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Journey to New Beginnings

Sugar in Milk

Thrity Umrigar


Grades 2-4

A young immigrant girl joins her aunt and uncle in a new country that is unfamiliar to her. She struggles with loneliness and a fierce longing for the culture and familiarity of home, until one day, her aunt takes her on a walk. As the duo strolls through their city park, the girl's aunt begins to tell her an old myth, and a story within the story begins. A long time ago, a group of refugees arrived on a foreign shore. The local king met them, determined to refuse their request for refuge. But there was a language barrier, so the king filled a glass with milk and pointed to it as a way of saying that the land was full and couldn't accommodate the strangers. Then, the leader of the refugees dissolved sugar in the glass of milk. His message was clear: Like sugar in milk, our presence in your country will sweeten your lives. The king embraced the refugee, welcoming him and his people.

About the Author

Thrity Umrigar is the bestselling author of nine novels and three picture books. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and published in over sixteen countries. She is the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Lambda Literary award and is a recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard. An award-winning journalist, she has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. She is the Distinguished University Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Thrity Umrigar

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