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Inside Out and Back Again (2011)

by Thanhha Lai

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3,0314733,148 (4.36)103
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

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This was tough to read. To get an immigrant/refugee story from the POV of a child may be more moving than any other. I wish more people would read this book, especially in today's political climate. ( )
  littlebookjockey | Sep 15, 2020 |
I really love the way language was used in this book. They way Hà basically translates the names of the people around her into something more familiar to her is so sweet and funny. And her annoyance with the fact that the rules of English are only sometimes followed is so relatable; English truly is the absolute worst and anyone who learns English as a second language deserves a medal honestly. This book also did an amazing job of conveying multiple distinct locations in only a few words. As a verse novel it's not exhaustively descriptive, but Lai used her sparse phrases so well and Hà's home in Vietnam feels distinct from the ship which feels distinct from the camp in Florida which feels distinct from their final destination in Alabama. The same can be said for the description of emotions and body language throughout the book. I felt like I knew so much about Hà's mother just from Hà's sparse descriptions of her expressions and actions. It takes a lot of skill to convey so much with so few words. ( )
  irasobrietate | Aug 31, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
  lcslibrarian | Aug 13, 2020 |
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To the millions of refugees in the world, may you each find a home
First words
1975: Year of the Cat
Today is Tet,
the first day
of the lunar calendar.
Every Tet
we eat sugary lotus seeds
and glutinous rice cakes.
We wear all new clothes,
even underneath.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

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