Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Ha 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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