Monday, January 9, 2012

Inside Out and Back Again by Thahha Lai

Inside out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
(Harper, 2011)

Summary from publisher:
For all the ten years of her life, Ha 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.  Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope.  In America, Ha 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.

I'm late coming on the bandwagon for this beautiful novel in verse.  The story of Ha and her family as they begin a new life in America is at times heartbreaking and heart warming.  I loved that Lai gave me a look at what life was like in Vietnam for families as contrasted by their lives here in America as refugees.  I was a young child in the mid-1970s, and I honestly don't remember what America was like then; I was more concerned with when I would lose my first tooth!

I can see why this book won the National Book Award.  It will be interesting to see if it wins any more.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book. So great. It is a fictionalized account of Thanhha Lai's life, and I can only imagine what it must have been like for her.

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