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Friday, September 9, 2011

Inside Out & Back Again

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai is a novel in verse narrated by a young Vietnamese girl named Hà in 1975. The moving story is based on the author’s own experiences. Tragically, Hà’s father never returned from war and her mother is a single parent to Hà and her three older brothers. As Saigon falls, Hà’s mother makes the difficult decision to load her family onto a crowded ship headed to a land full of dreams. The family ends up being sponsored by a man in Alabama. Thanhha Lai does a superb job of capturing Hà’s emotional journey in a new home where everything is different – the language, the school, the people, the food, and the way they are treated. This book will help readers understand what many young people endure when coming to the United States for the first time. I appreciated the characters in the story that opened their hearts to this young girl and her family.

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