Inside Out and Back Again: Book summary and reviews of Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back Again

by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai X
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
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About this book

Book Summary

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.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Awards, 2011

Reviews

Media 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." - Kirkus

"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. Ages 8-12." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. 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." - Booklist

"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." - Kirkus Reviews

"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." - Kathi Appelt, bestselling author of Newbery Honor Book The Underneath

"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." - Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People

This information about Inside Out and Back Again was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Danielle

Favorite book by far!
I never knew a book could be this good! It tells of a girl who is forced to flee from Saigon, Vietnam and when she gets sponsored, goes to Alabama and learns english and goes to school. She is forced to cope with everyday challenges. If you're up for reading something new, I definitely recommend this book, 10 out of 10!

Lizzie

WOW
I loved this book, absolutely has made one of my top 10 list!!! I highly suggest this book to the younger readers for sure. This book defiantly portrays to them... very moving and uplifting.

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Author Information

Thanhha Lai Author Biography

Thanhhà Lai is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Inside Out & Back Again, her debut novel in verse, which won both a National Book Award and a Newbery Honor, and the acclaimed Listen, Slowly, which was named to numerous best book of the year lists. She was born in Viêt Nam and now lives in New York with her family.

For a pronunciation guide provided by the author herself, see teachingbooks.net

Link to Thanhha Lai's Website

Name Pronunciation
Thanhha Lai: Th-ang ha (see biography)

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