Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inside Out & Back Again took Thankhha Lai 15 years to write, but this debut novel was worth the wait.  Written in verse, the semiautobiographical novel tells the story of Lai's exile from her country of Vietnam when she was 10 years old.  In the book, 10 year old Ha' narrates her harrowing journey with her mother and brothers, who left Saigon by boat just hours before the North Vietamese forces secure the city.  In her musings, you can picture the scenes of the Vietnam that Ha' misses terribly, as well as the ship, the camp in Guam, and finally their new home in a small town in Alabama.    The family also has to come to terms with the disappearance of Ha's father, who was captured by the Viet Cong.  The book recently won the National book award for young people's literature, and was a Newbery Honor winner!

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