Inside Out and Back Again

A 2012 Newbery Honor Book | Winner of the 2011 National Book Award

This book is written in a beautiful poetic form. It recounts the childhood of a young 10-year-old Vietnamese girl who is forced to flee from Vietnam in 1975 with her family in spite of the fact that her father is a prisoner and might return to them. She has her favorite things in Vietnam, especially her papaya tree which is coming closer to rich, ripe fruit every day, but not soon enough! Through a series of escapes, refugee camps and then sponsors, she lands in Atlanta, Georgia. There things are unfamiliar and she is treated like she is simple-minded because she cannot communicate in English. Her name is Há, so she is teased as kids laugh ha, ha, ha, ha. In addition to the teasing she faces bullying and more. What a great read on how difficult it is for refugees who seek a better life in our country and actually face worse.

Review by Fay Mason, Churchill Jr. High School Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 Stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-8

Inside Out and Back Again
Written by Thanhha Lai
Harper
262 pages
Release Date: February 22, 2011
ISBN: 9780061962783 (hardcover)

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