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Inside Out and Back Again

Cover of Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again

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Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.

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

This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny." An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.

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

This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny." An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    4.8
  • Lexile:
    800
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you


 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • Thanhhà Lai was born in Viêt Nam and now lives with her family in New York.

    Like the father in Listen, Slowly, Thanhhà has been buying bicycles for poor children in Viêt Nam since 2005.

Reviews-
  • DOGO Books kiwikorilakkuma - I read this book at least 5 times. It's that good. Before I continue, I should say that I really enjoy Historical-Fiction books, so this review might turn out to be highly opinionated on that. This book is written in verse, and it's probably my first book that I have read that is written in verse. I think that was a good move for Thanhha Lai, because she could use all of the descriptive words effectively (and amazingly) to describe how the main character, Ha, feels. It's very important to know what the main character feels like, especially because they must have a mixed range of feelings in this situation (Having to immigrate to a foreign country and having to learn a how to make a new living, a new language, and a new way to act). Ha is immigrating from Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Ha's dad is also M.I.A. (missing in action; he was part of the Vietnamese army). Ha's dad used to bring home various things back from his visits to America, when he went on duty. But one time, Ha's dad never came back. Ha lives with her current family, herself, her mother, and her brothers (I must apologize in advance, I do not remember their names, except for brother Quang, or how many there were for that matter, their ages also,). Ha's family is somewhat poor, especially since market prices have been raised a lot since it was "Normal" in Vietnam (this is also emphasized and described in the book, by Ha's perspective). I love re-reading this, also because I always miss a few details, and I get to learn them the next time I read. Speaking of reading, I saw a fellow classmate reading this book earlier today. I was ecstatic that she was reading it- my other friends who have read it did not like it as much as I did, unfortunately- So I walked straight over and told her how amazing I thought the book was, and then I continued and just stood there for AGES blubbering on about how much I loved it, until -of course- my teacher came over and told me to get back to my seat and start working. Overall I would give this book a 5 out of 5 rating, and I would also recommend it to anyone who shares a love for historical fiction books (sorry that audience was a bit vague, I couldn't think of anything that fit). Please let me know if you have read - or are reading- this book. I would LOVE to know what other people would think of this book as well! -Kiwi ( Wow, this ended up being a LONG book review )
  • Kathi Appelt, bestselling author of Newbery Honor Book The Underneath "Open this book, read it slowly to savor the delicious language. This is a book that asks the reader to be careful, to pay attention, to sigh at the end."
  • Booklist (starred review) "Based in Lai's personal experience, this first novel captures a child–refugee's struggle with rare honesty. Written in accessible, short free–verse poems, Hà's immediate narrative describes her mistakes—both humorous and heartbreaking; and readers will be moved by Hà's sorrow as they recognize the anguish of being the outcast."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "The taut portrayal of Hà's emotional life is especially poignant as she cycles from feeling smart in Vietnam to struggling in the States, and finally regains academic and social confidence. An incisive portrait of human resilience."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "An enlightening, poignant and unexpectedly funny novel in verse. In her not-to-be-missed debut, Lai evokes a distinct time and place and presents a complex, realistic heroine whom readers will recognize, even if they haven't found themselves in a strange new country."
  • Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People "American and Vietnamese characters alike leap to life through the voice and eyes of a ten–year–old girl—a protagonist so strong, loving, and vivid I longed to hand her a wedge of freshly cut papaya."
  • The Horn Book "Lai's spare language captures the sensory disorientation of changing cultures as well as a refugee's complex emotions and kaleidoscopic loyalties."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) "Ha's voice is full of humor and hope."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "In this free-verse narrative, Lai is sparing in her details, painting big pictures with few words and evoking abundant visuals."
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    HarperCollins
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