Inside Out & Back Again
By Thanhha Lai
Hi! This book was amazing! It’s about a young girl named Hà who has lived in the city Saigon in South Vietnam almost all of her life. However, one day she has to leave her home to be safe from the Vietnam War. Her family traveled to America and was sent to Alabama. There, they lived with a cowboy and his wife. The cowboy was the exact opposite of his wife. While he was kind and welcoming, his wife was cruel and wouldn’t let them out of the house for fear that their neighbors would look down upon them. Yet all Hà could think of was her life back home in Saigon. Very soon, Hà starts a new school. But when the school bully picks on her, it ends up worse than she could have imagined.
Hà was one of my favorite characters because she was courageous and she could stand up for herself as well as others. But she was also a normal child, even if her looks were different. She needed to be loved and cared for and not bullied.
Another good character is mother, who remains understanding of the situation that Hà is going through, because Hà’s father went on a mission and never came back.
I also want to tell you about Hà’s well cared-for papaya tree. I don’t know if this would count as a character, but it’s like a living being to Hà. She cares deeply for this tree and she is disheartened to have to leave it in South Vietnam.
Will Hà be able to get along with her new life in Alabama? Or will she forever remain homesick for her papaya tree and wonderful house? As I always say, read the book to find out!
A few helpful things I like to say about the books I read:
“Run and Get Mom” (how I describe the scariness factor – zero being not scary at all and five being majorly scary): 1
“Yucky-Lovey Stuff” (how I describe the romance factor – zero having no yucky-lovey parts in it and five having major yucky-lovey parts): 2
I give this book 4 ½ wands.
If you love poetry and amazing adventures about strange and exciting new things, then welcome Inside Out & Back Again! I loved this book because it was a story about how one girl lost her home and how well she adapts as she tries to move to another country.