Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

May 13, 2011

Inside Out & Back Again

By Thanhha Lai
Era: 1975 Vietnam and America
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

It is 1975 and Ha has lived all her life in Saigon, but as the war creeps closer and closer to the city, her mother makes the difficult choice that the family must flee.  When Ha questions how their father, long missing in action, will find her 3 brothers and herself, her mother replies that a plan is in place.  So they crowd onto ships overflowing with others also trying to escape and sail out into the wide ocean, hoping to be rescued.  Days and days go by, but finally American boats come and take the refugees to camps in Guam.  Now they must wait and wait again to be sponsored by someone, in some country, somewhere, so they can leave the camp and start a fresh new life.  When a man offers them a place in Alabama, they jump at the offer.  But once they arrive, new hardships begin--the neighbors are unfriendly, only one brother knows English, and there are plenty who tease Ha to tears.  How can the land of the free be so cruel?  But her family is made of sterner stuff than she knows, and there is always a little bird called hope.  Written in free verse poems, readers will get a real taste of what life was like from war-torn Saigon to living as a refugee far from home.  An enjoyable and insightful story that may make you think twice about how you behave towards a stranger in your land.


  • I loved this book and thought that the free verse style added so much!

    By Blogger Miss K, At 10:24 AM  

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