Written By: Thrity Umrigar
Illustrated by: Khoa Le
For Ages: 6 years and up
Topics Covered: Immigration, Growing Up, Social-Emotional Learning, Legends.
Summary: This beautiful and tender book takes a Persian story about immigration into new lands and brings it into a contemporary light with a main character having trouble feeling like she belongs in a new country.
A young girl has moved in with her Aunt and Uncle, leaving the rest of her friends and family behind. Feeling alone, he aunt takes her on a walk one day and tells a story about some Persian immigrants arriving at the shores of India wishing for refuge. Upon seeing them, the king declares there isn’t anymore room in his kingdom and they must leave. It takes a beautiful metaphor and some ingenuity for one of the Persians to make a compelling case to the king.
This is a gorgeous story in text and illustrations. The last few years there have been so any news stories and upheaval surrounding immigration, and many families are separated indefinitely due to borders closing because of the pandemic. Sugar in Milk is an empathetic and emotional tale about a young girl’s desire to fit into her new home, sure to tug on the heartstrings of anyone who’s ever even moved a few minutes away much less across the globe.
This book was kindly sent by Running Press Kids, and a contender for the #bookstagang_bestof2020 but all opinions are my own.
Thrity Umrigar is the best-selling author of the novels Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet, The Weight of Heaven, The World We Found and The Story Hour. She is also the author of the memoir, First Darling of the Morning. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in over fifteen countries. She is a Distinguished University Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
The Space Between Us was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins award, while her memoir was a finalist for the Society of Midland Authors award. If Today Be Sweet was a Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle selection, while her other books have been Community Reads selections. Thrity is the winner of the Cleveland Arts Prize, a Lambda Literary award and the Seth Rosenberg prize. She is also the recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard.
Thrity was born in Bombay, India and came to the U.S. when she was 21. As a Parsi child attending a Catholic school in a predominantly Hindu country, she had the kind of schizophrenic and cosmopolitan childhood that has served her well in her life as a writer. Accused by teachers and parents alike of being a daydreaming, head-in-the-clouds child, she grew up lost in the fictional worlds created by Steinbeck, Hemingway, Woolf and Faulkner. She would emerge long enough from these books to create her own fictional and poetic worlds. Encouraged by her practical-minded parents to get an undergraduate degree in business, Thrity survived business school by creating a drama club and writing, directing and acting in plays. Her first short stories, essays and poems were published in national magazines and newspapers in India at age fifteen.