Oct 2, 2016

Sunday Salon: Inside Out and Back Again, a verse novel by Thanhha Lai

A novel in verse, Inside Out and Back Again, a coming-of-age debut work by  is available as an ebook, paperback, or hardcover, and was published 2011 by HarperCollins. 


Book description: Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.

My comments: I followed this young girl's impressions of her home in Vietnam before having to flee with her family when the North invaded the South at the end of the war. She loved papaya and planted her own tree, watching the formation and growth of the tiny papaya fruits that she eventually had to leave behind. 

We follow her on the boat heading for Thailand, her family's rescue, her relocation to and settlement in Alabama with the help of the local people, and finally her school days enduring bullying and teasing, and her rescue and protection by her older brothers from the mean kids. 

There is humor and pathos in the account, and the voice of a young girl comes through clear and strong in this relatively short and easy to read novel in verse.

I can see why it has won awards. It's for those who read poetry and even for those who do not.  

My rating: 5
Source: ebook bought for my Kindle

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10 comments:

  1. The book looks good...I don't usually enjoy books in verse, but maybe it will be an exception. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. It was a powerful story. It is a book I love to share with others. Glad you enjoyed it so much, too.

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  3. I have been wanting to read this! Glad you liked it. Sounds like a touching story and while I prefer prose, verse novels can have a bigger impact sometimes in storytelling.

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  4. Really like your review. Would like to read about the little girl.

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  5. Sounds like a neat book And bullying- sigh why is there always bullying? I can imagine (or maybe I can't) fleeing here from a country torn up like that and then having to endure bullying. And I imagine Alabama is a culture shift from Vietnam (any state would be). Looks like a great read.

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  6. I loved this book when I read it and I often think about it as I think about immigrant experiences.

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  7. I love the idea that this is written on verse. This type of writing seems to be an nearly lost art. I wish that more writers would try it.

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  8. This sounds like a wonderful book. It looks like it would be a nice gift.

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  9. I have seen this book around and was aware that it won awards. I haven't had a chance to read it yet. One day I really will have to catch up on all the award winners I've missed. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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