Inside Out and Back AgainInside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

The story is nicely evocative of all of the things Ha misses when her family leaves Vietnam. The free verse form heightens the emotions and lets the historical facts fade into the backdrop – while certain times, places and historical figures are mentioned, the emotions could translate to any refugee situation. The ending felt a little abrupt, but otherwise the book was strong.

There’s a brief note from the author talking more about why she wrote the book than adding any historical facts – curious kids might want to seek out more information on Vietnam and the war, especially if, like me, they have had almost no exposure to it in school.

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