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Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
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Inside Out and Back Again (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Thanhha Lai

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1,0921257,618 (4.27)58
Member:DonnaKLewis
Title:Inside Out and Back Again
Authors:Thanhha Lai
Info:HarperCollins (2011), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Newberry Award, young girl, Vietnam, bully

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Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (2011)

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Summary: This children's chapter book details the life of a ten year old girl named Ha and her escape from South Vietnam in 1975. Written through poetry and prose, this story takes readers on a journey into the mind and actions of Ha throughout a year. It depicts her struggles, her heartbreak, and her hopes and dreams for the future.

Argument: I enjoyed this children's book for many reasons and highly recommend it for teachers to use in their upper level elementary school classrooms. First, I liked this book for its format and structure. The text is not a story written in chapter forms but in poems. Each poem has a title that describes its meaning and the story is told through the poem's imagery and detail. For example, on page 192 the poem is called "The Busy One" and focuses on a person close to Ha being too busy to make time for her. Secondly, I liked this book because it is sectioned off in dates like a diary. Each poem is ended with a month and a day. It reads like a diary but in poetry form. I think children will love the creative qualities of this book and want to use it for their own writing. Lastly, I enjoyed this book because of the text and font. Certain aspects of the font are bold or capitalized when important to the narrator. This gives children the knowledge to focus on this part of the story as a reminder while reading. I also like how the author italicizes the dialogue within the poem because it can be hard to tell at times when a character is speaking.
The main message of this story is to never give up hope or stop fighting. Even though Ha goes through many hardships and struggles she keeps on moving and surviving and never gives up hope. ( )
  stomas5 | Dec 9, 2014 |
I enjoyed Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai because it was interesting to read a book composed of poems. One reason I liked this book was the writing. It flowed very well and it was an easy read. It was interesting that a series of poems could tell a detailed story. Every page was a poem that led to the next poem in a series of events by the date. I also liked the point of view in this story. It was first person so the author used "I" throughout the entire book. The events were her personal events that she told through a series of poems. Such as, "I wish they would stand still and hush" and "I prefer really fat grapes". This helped the reader feel more connected and sympathize with the author and main character of the book. The main idea is that change is okay and it will help you develop into a better and stronger person. ( )
  EmmaBrockwell | Dec 8, 2014 |
For all the ten years of her life, HÀ has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.
But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. HÀ and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, HÀ discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family. This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.
  kzilinskas | Dec 3, 2014 |
A good free verse book about the life of a Vietnamese girl forced to immigrate to America after the war. Good story to discuss the theme of empathy, yet was not a tear-jerky as many books like this can be. The visuals of the free verse style were compelling. ( )
  rdwhitenack | Nov 29, 2014 |
Summary-This is a coming of age book about this child's view of immigration and family. After Ha's father has been missing in action for nine years and the fall of Saigon, she has to flee Vietnam and immigrate to Alabama.This book is about her dreams and struggles, and the rollercoaster of a year she had. This is written a short, free verse poems. Ha tells of her mistakes, both funny and sad, bullying, and how she finds comfort in a nice teacher who can relate to her. Even though her father is still gone, she begins to shape a new life. It also includes and interview with the author.
Personal Reaction-Such an inspirational book to anyone who is going through a hard time in their life. This story was portrayed so well and I felt so much compassion for this little girl and her family. It was a little boring at first but I am glad that I stuck with it.
Classroom Extension-This is a great book to just have a in depth classroom discussion about life. All aspects.
  sarah_desrosier | Nov 13, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061962783, Hardcover)

No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama.

For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.

But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family.

This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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