Monday, April 23, 2012

Bibliophile's Corner

Inside Out & Back Again
by Thanhha Lai

Flap Copy description:
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, 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.

My thoughts:
Inside Out & Back Again is a beautifully written story about a young girl's life in Vietnam that changes drastically forever. The gifted author, Thanhha Lai, skillfully draws the reader into the dreams, challenges, and triumphs of the main character, Ha, with writing that can only be described as pure poetry. This 2012 Newbery Honor Award winning book is an insightful look into the experience of war through the eyes of a child. It is also extremely enlightening as to how difficult it would be to assimilate into a different country with its strange customs and unfamiliar culture.
I would highly recommend this middle grade novel to readers from the ages of 8 - 12, and to adults who enjoy a poetic style of writing.

To learn more about the inspiring author, Thanhha Lai - click here:


  1. What an interesting contrast, wartime Saigon to Alabama. I'm thinking the imagery of the author's words about these two places must be beautiful.

    1. It is beautiful, Joanne. The author's insights to the Vietnam War are worthy of a read from adults too. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Thanks, Victoria. I'll have to read this one for sure. :)

  3. Great review. I read this book a month or so back and I thoroughly enjoyed it.