She was on a ship crossing the ocean to America, or Amerika, as the Swedes spell it. Her best friend, Elin Rambo, was going to Amerika too.
One day Brita and Elin were sitting on the deck of the ship playing with their dolls. (They each only had one doll, because they had to leave most of their things behind when they left Sweden.) They were pretending that their dolls were at Ellis Island, and the doctors were checking them for diseases.
"I'm g-g-getting bored of this g-game," said Brita. "Let's w-w-watch the waves."
They put their dolls away and leaned over the rail. "E-E-lin, don't the waves look a bit ch-ch-oppy?" said Brita. "Yes" said Elin, "and aren't those clouds getting grayer?"
Half an hour later there was a storm at sea. One of the crew told everyone that this big heavy pulley had punctured a hole in the bottom of the boat. Everyone had to bail water out of the boat. While everyone was bailing water out of the boat, the crew looked for the mending kit.
Something slid and hit Brita's foot. "Ow" she said. It was the mending kit! Brita wanted to tell everyone, but she thought everyone would laugh at her because she stuttered. She felt embarassed when people laughed at her and strangers might not know what she was saying.
She wanted to tell her mother and then have her mother tell them, but she couldn't find her. Brita put the mending kit in a bunk where someone could find it.
A few minutes later one of the crew yelled out, "hey I found the kit!"
Then the captain said, "good, everyone into their bunks!"
When Brita got into her bunk with her mom, she said, "mom I was the one who found the kit, but I was afraid to tell everyone because they would probably laugh at my stuttering."
Her mom said, "you shouldn't have been afraid to tell everyone just because you stutter, and you shouldn't have been afraid to stutter because no one might have laughed at you when you stuttered."
Brita's mom called to one of her friends on the boat and said, "hey Anna, would you laugh at Brita's stuttering?"
"No, of course not," she said.
Brita felt more confident after her mom's friend said that.
Then her mom got up and went to the captain, and told him that Brita found the kit. After the captain told everyone that Brita found the kit, he went over to Brita and told her that she shouldn't be afraid of stuttering.
After that her mom said, "if you ever think that someone might laugh at your stuttering, you could tell them what stuttering is so they could understand you."
Two hours later, they arrived at Ellis island. When it was Brita's turn to be registered a man asked her her name. "B-B-Brita," she said.
"What did you say your name was?" said the man.
"B-Brita," she said.
"Why do you repeat a letter over again?" "Do you think it is funny?"
"No" said Brita. "I just stutter." "Stuttering is when you repeat the first letter or blend over again."
"Oh," he said, "I understand."
Later they reached their new farm.
Brita's dad said that they were going to raise crops and animals. "First" said Brita's dad, "we are going to order some cows and hoe the fields." "And we are going to find you a school."
When Brita went to bed in her new room she thought about her new school. She was going to have her first day in her new school the next day.
The next day she went to school and the teacher said, "Class we have a new student, her name is Brita Nilsson, she is from Sweden."
At recess Elin was sitting next to her. Then a girl with long brown hair came over to her. She said, "my name is Monica, I'm from Sweden too."
Soon Brita and Monica became friends. One day when the teacher asked Brita a question, Brita answered it, but she stuttered. One boy laughed at her.
At recess Brita went over to the boy and said, "stuttering is not such a different thing and you shouldn't laugh at me." "When people laugh at me it makes me feel different and left out."
"Oh, sorry" said the boy.
Later that summer, when her dad was out working in the fields and her mom was feeding the pigs, Brita said to her mom, "you know stuttering isn't such a big thing after all."