(This was first written for my Materials for Tweens class.)
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai is a diary written in verse follows ten-year-old Hà and her family as they move from war-torn Vietnam to the States during the Vietnam War. Hà struggles with having her life turned inside out before it settles down again as she adjusts to her new life in America.
Filled with imagery and onomatopoeia, this book shows the “other” side of the Vietnam War, written from the point of view of the Vietnamese refugees. In the author’s note, Lai explains that she wrote the book with second and future generations in mind to help them understand their roots. While the characters in the book are fictional, the events are based on Lai’s own experience moving to the States.
This book can be used to complement lessons on the Vietnam War. Students can do research about different aspects of Vietnam culture to present to the class.
It received recognition as a Newbery Honor Book and an ALA Notable Children’s Book in 2012.
This post is my Blogging from A to Z entry for the letter I.