Monday, November 17, 2014

Book Review: Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: February 2011
Pages: 272
Source: Review copy from Publisher
For: Review (and Newbery)

Summary from goodreads: 
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.
Things I Liked:
What a wonderful story!  I loved seeing what it must have been like for a young girl growing up in Vietnam during the war.  I know next to nothing about the time period or the war or Vietnam, so this was a true eye opener for me.  It was so interesting to read about the hardships they endured pretty much everywhere they went, but so sad to see how they were received in America.  And I really liked that it was in verse.  I admit to not reading a lot of books in verse, but this was well written and the format only contributed to the story.  Obvious reasons that this was the National Book Award winner and a Newbery Honor book.

Things I Didn't Like:
Hm, not much.  I wish we could have had a few more details about what her family experienced in America, but it was told from her viewpoint and the limited detail was quite accurate.

Can't think of anything...

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
well, maybe not violence, but some bad stuff does happen to her

Overall rating: *****

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I've got this one out from the library. I need to read it before it's due back. I didn't realize it was in verse -- that will make it a nice, fast read. One that sounds really good, too!

    1. I'm sure it was a super fast read for you. Can't wait to hear what you thought!


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