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Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back Again (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Thanhha Lai

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1,0171048,361 (4.26)53
Title:Inside Out and Back Again
Authors:Thanhha Lai
Info:HarperCollins (2011), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Newberry Award, young girl, Vietnam, bully

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Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (2011)


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Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
This book is written entirely in prose and focuses on the life of a young Vietnamese girl living at the time of the Vietnam War. Her father left nine years ago and her family still waits for his return. As the war continues the girl finally escapes from Vietnam to America, specifically Alabama, along with her mother and three brothers. There she struggles to learn English, to "be like everyone else", and to fit in a world she doesn't fit in. With the help of a neighbor and some friends at school she starts to learn English and to feel welcome. Towards the end of the book the family accepts that their father and husband is dead and will not be returning. There is closure. And as the year ends the family each prays for each other, with the girl learning that it's not so important to fit in and be like everyone else as it is to be happy with where you are in life and be grateful for all that is given, and to hope for more. 4th-8th (simple language, but fairly heavy topic)
  sbutler9 | Sep 11, 2014 |
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai covers a year in the life of Hà and her family. She is the only daughter and believes their last year in Saigon was cursed by her breaking with tradition. The floor on New Year's morning should be walked on by a boy and she beats her brothers to the punch, hoping to make her own destiny.

For readers who know their history, what's really going on is the Vietnam War. It has nothing to do with Hà's feminist leanings. In that year, though, going from March to February, covers their fleeing from Saigon, the time on the ship, and ultimately relocation to Alabama.

For the amount of hardship and heartbreak Hà and her family go through, the book remains remarkably upbeat and hopeful. Part of this is how it's written — in verse. These poems, each one standing in for a chapter in Hà's experience, bend and break poetic form in ways that parallel her rebellious side.

We listened to the audio version of the book on a drive to Oregon. The reader does an excellent job of bringing Hà to life. ( )
  pussreboots | Aug 8, 2014 |
I loved this book. It chronicles the life of a young Vietnamese girl as she is forced to flee her home in Saigon and then finds refuge in a strange place - Alabama. The difficulty of having to leave the only home she knows to begin a new life with her family is beautifully portrayed in verse. Her personality comes through in her poems- "I can't make my brothers go live elsewhere/ but I can/ hide their sandals." You can see her older brother's frustration as he tries to be patient as the translator of the family, the sadness the family feels for having to flee, the sadness of not having a father (missing in action for years) -- the loss Ha feels that she is trying to cope with. She finds a friend in her tutor, Miss Washington, whose son died fighting in the Vietnam War. It was heartbreaking how Ha goes from feeling smart in her own country to feeling dumb in America. I am glad the book ended on a hopeful note. ( )
  SuPendleton | Jun 30, 2014 |
Written in poetry, this is the story of Ha', who lives in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Ha' and her family flee and travel to the US and adjust to live in a different country and culture.
  laurlou | Jun 9, 2014 |
This book follows a year in the life of a young girl from Vietnam named Ha. Throughout the year her family undergoes various dramatic changes including fleeing the war in Vietnam, living in refugee camps and finally adjusting to an extremely different, and sometimes hostile, environment in the rural south of the United States. Written entirely in prose, this book is a beautiful, succinct account of a displaced child's experiences in a new country.
  ameliagilbertson | Jun 9, 2014 |
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To the millions of refugees in the world, may you each find a home
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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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