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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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1,0811227,716 (4.27)58
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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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 |
This book is the diary of a ten year old Vietnamese girl who came to the United States with her family during the Vietnam War. Her father had been missing in action since she was about one year old. She tells about her life before she and her family had to flee Vietnam. She also tells the readers what it was like to traveling on to the United States and the problems her and her family endured when they finally mad it to the United States.

Personal Reaction:
Although, I am not old enough to remember the Vietnam War, I lived in El Paso, Texas where many Mexicans came to flee the violence of the drug wars in Mexico. This book has changed the way I feel about them fleeing their native country to keep their families safe. This book has shown me another point of view, that I refused to consider. This book has shown me that coming to a new country with different traditions and cultures is very hard.

Classroom Extensions:
This book could be read by a class with a bullying problem. It gives detailed insight on what it is like to be bullied.
this book is also a good book to have a class to read when there is a new student, especially a new student from a different country. It may help the other children understand how difficult it is to come to a new country with very different traditions.
  theresazeigler | Nov 11, 2014 |
26. In my opinion, “Inside Out and Back Again” by Thanhha Lai is an excellent book for young readers. It is an autobiographical chapter book that is written in from the author’s point of view as a young girl. Lai separates the plot of this chapter book into four parts and uses poetry to tell her story. The language is descriptive and presents Ha’s journey towards adapting to American culture in a way that is sequential and organized. On each page, the poems have titles, as well as dates to assist the reader in following Ha’s struggle to adapt both culturally and financially to American society. The development of Ha’s character is believable, as it is expected of children her age to struggle with adapting to a new social and academic environment. Her character is also believable in the sense that the reader expects her to become frustrated with learning the rules of a new language, in addition to dealing with bullies and making friends. I would choose to include this book in my classroom, as it pushes students to think about the difficulties children and families face when they are forced to move to a different country to escape war. This book would also broaden students’ perspective on family structures, acculturation, and the frustration that comes with learning a new language. The main purpose of this book is to describe, from a Vietnamese child’s point of view, the journey that immigrant children and families face as they immerse themselves in a culture that is completely foreign to their own. This book serves to provide students with a relatable, first person account of the hardships children encounter as they adjust to a new environment. ( )
  efried5 | Oct 30, 2014 |
This is a very thoughtful book from a child refugee's perspective on her escape from Vietnam and her voyage to America. The book is written in verse which uses more personalized, informal language. The book is well-organized through the breaking down of the story into four sections based on where the young girl and her family is located. For example, the four sections used are Saigon, At Sea, Alabama, and From Now On. Another way the book is well-organized is through the individually titled verses and dates. It allows the reader to imagine the time span of everything happening, how often she is writing, and the chronological order of specific events. There are powerful pieces which are easy to pinpoint due to the organization of the novel. For example, "Current News" ends with the teacher ending discussion about any negative news so people could only talk about positive news. The poem ends with "No one had anything to say".

The big message of the story is to keep pushing forward no matter what happens and family lives in the heart. I love how empowering this book is and how strong the main character Ha is. I enjoyed the way the book was organized into sections, individually titled poems, and chronological dates. ( )
  GinaBayne | Oct 21, 2014 |
This book was a puzzle to me. On one hand I enjoyed it because the writing gave me a different perspective into the life of an immigrant child. This was definitely a window book and I enjoyed looking through that window. I left me feeling much more compassionate and understanding towards immigrants. Ha’s story changed my way of thinking which is difficult for a story to do. Reading about everything Ha went through from fleeing Vietnam, to how her teacher treated her like she wasn’t smart, to the Pink Boy bullying her changed my perspective. On the other hand I found all the poems confusing. It wasn’t written like a regular chapter book; instead each event in her life was a poem. I was more interested in the story of Ha then the poetry the story was written in. In a way it the way it was written was distracting because it was unfamiliar and lacked the details most chapter books have leaving me wanting to know more, not in a good way. I believe the big idea was compassion and understanding. Ha changes a lot in a single year but I think this is more of an enjoyment book that leaves the reader with new insight. ( )
  torilynae | Oct 17, 2014 |
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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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Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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Haiku summary

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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