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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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1,6162914,492 (4.28)70
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 291 (next | show all)
This book is great to have in your classroom as a beginner chapter book. This book allows you to engrave yourself in the life of this young girl and see what is was like for millions of families during war times. This book allows you into Ha's culture, on page 3 she explains their new year by saying "Today we all gain one year in age, no matter the date we were born." This explains how in both cultures we celebrate birthdays but in different ways. This is important for our students to understand, all cultures are different. On page 7, the author says "This year he predicts our lives will twist inside out." This keeps the readers engaged and wanting more. I thought this book was an extremely easy read and I thought my students would enjoy this book. ( )
  pwood3 | Sep 25, 2016 |
In my opinion, "Inside Out and Back Again" by Thanhha Lai was a very good book for a variety of reasons. "Inside Out and Back Again" follows the journey of a young girl named Ha who is forced to leave her home in Vietnam due to war. When she resettles in America she struggles to feel welcome in her new home and come to terms that her father is dead; however, everything comes together in the end. One of the main reasons why I enjoyed this novel was because of the poetic, journal writing style and first person point of view. The story was written almost as Ha’s personal diary from her childhood. For example, Ha writes “I wish Brother Khoi wouldn’t keep inside how he endures the hours in school, that Mother wouldn’t hide her bleeding fingers, that brother Quang wouldn’t be so angry after work. I wish our cowboy could be persuaded to buy a horse, that I could be invisible until I can talk back, that English could be learned without so many rules. I wish Father would appear in my class speaking beautiful English as he does French and Chinese and hold out his hand for mine. Mostly I wish I were still smart.” This passage, and the writing style that mirrors it, allows the reader to feel emotionally invested in Ha’s journey. Additionally, the writing style and some of Ha’s struggles throughout the book, like being the new student or moving to a new place, are very relate-able to young readers. Another reason why I enjoyed this book was because the plot was very well organized and easy to follow. It was a progressive plot; first starting with Ha’s life in Vietnam, then on the boat as her family fled, afterwards being resettled in America and finally, the story tells of her life in her new home. The book had a strong message for young readers about supporting family and valuing traditions from different cultures. Young readers can also learn about accepting different cultures from reading this novel. Overall, I enjoyed reading "Inside Out and Back Again" and think young readers would, too. ( )
  landre8 | Sep 24, 2016 |
I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked the book because it was a great story and I enjoyed the way it was written. The story was wrote from a young girl's perspective. She is a part of the war going on in Vietnam and her along with her family move to America. The story is written like it is the young girl's diary which was very cool and made it easy to read. I didn't like that the book was hard to relate to and therefore wasn't very interesting to me. Although I have moved from England and experienced things such as culture shock, I still didn't go through the same events the family did such as war, starvation, and poverty. ( )
  dberry6 | Sep 20, 2016 |
After reading this poetry-style book I have mixed feelings about this reading for a couple of reasons. Specifically, this was an autobiographical book based off of true events that occurred for a young woman during the Vietnam war and there were still parts that I could not quite connect with and feel the emotion. However, the style of the book was different and made this book an easy read. As the story is divided into different poems, it made it easy to keep track of the sequence of events that were occurring because of the titles. For example, the sequence of the poems “Should We?”, “Sssshhhhhh”, and “Quiet Decision” took readers through the steps that the author’s family went through to decide whether they should leave Saigon or not. Also, the fact that there are months that lead the readers through a sort of timeline of what is happening. Continuing on my opinion of not being able to connect, there were points in the story that could have been more powerful, like when the author writes the poem “Life in Waiting” the details are mild and span over long period of time- “June to July”. This poem talked about her life waiting to leave camp-life and how she was learning but there is nothing significant or intriguing. There are other parts of the poem that give enough and significant details to show the important of the author and her family learning English. So this poem, I feel, was not necessary for the book, however, the author could have provided it for her own satisfaction. The big idea that I gather from this story is the communication issues between non-english speaking people and their experiences through emigration and immigration. ( )
  TaylorSistek | Sep 19, 2016 |
The main idea of this book is the fictional but fact-based journey of Ha from war-torn Vietnam to rural Alabama as she over comes language and cultural issues. The book is written in an almost prose and diary entry. The language is wonderfully descriptive in the sights and sounds of Ha's life. Ha, as a character, is relatable, funny, and observant of her environment. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. ( )
  cmcdon18 | Sep 18, 2016 |
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:04 -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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