Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Cover image for Inside out & back againHa can here the bombs exploding from her home in Vietnam.  As the fighting heats up, Ha's family gets the opportunity to leave on a refugee ship.  This honest narrative follows Ha's journey from the refugee ship to a refugee camp in Florida, to a home in Georgia.  She tells of her struggles to learn English and the teasing from the other children at her school.  The story is written in fluid free verse.  I listened to the recorded version of the book, and the reader did a good job making the story sound natural, not like a group of poems.  A note at the end explains that many of the experiences recounted in the book are autobiographical.  Ms. Lai, herself came to America as a refugee in the 1970's.  This book is very well written, and because it is written in verse, it is a fast read.  I am not surprised that it won a bunch of awards in 2012, including a Newbery Honor and a National Book Award. This would be a great book for a mother/daughter book club, or a school reading circle. (262 p)

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