Monday, December 1, 2014

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai


Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Review by Lauren

source: copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.

Review: This book is based on the author's own experiences leaving Vietnam, which definitely adds more poignancy to the overall story. The entire book is told in verse, which I really loved. It's easy to read, but it also allows you to get into the head of Hà and see the world through her eyes, from her papaya tree in Vietnam to a child's view of a mother's grief (Hà's father has been missing even before they leave for America).

Each poem is given a title at the beginning and then a date at the bottom, to show when Hà is writing. I think verse was a great choice for this book because it's so personal and it can easily evoke the emotion needed. I read this book for my children's literature class, and I'm glad to say I did. I had heard of this book before, but I had never given it much thought. I think this is a book that adults would really love as well. Hà is a child, but she has adult issues to deal with as well.

Looking at the cover, I feel like this story would make a wonderful animated film.

13 comments:

Cleo Bannister said...

That sounds like a particularly poignant read.

Melliane said...

I don't really read poesie, but this one sounds interesting and well done. Well mainly intense too.

Erika Sorocco said...

This sounds enchanting.

xx

Kindlemom said...

This sounds like it is an emotion and beautiful story told through verse!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Hmm it sounds very intriguing and I like the idea of the verse and the topic is fascinating as well. I will have to look this one up.

cleemckenzie said...

A well-written book in verse is such a pleasure. Thanks for hosting her book here.

I'm just back from SE Asia, so this would be a great book to share with my family.

DMS said...

I really enjoyed this book. The way it is told in verse really added to the impact of the story. I can see it being an animated movie too! Such a beautiful cover. :)
~Jess

Medeia Sharif said...

I read this years ago and enjoyed it a lot. I also heard the author speak at an event.

Diva Booknerd said...

That cover is absolutely lovely, and I couldn't agree more about what a wonderful animated film it would make. Is it told as poems or more so verse? Regardless, it sounds just beautiful and I'll be grabbing a copy. Been collecting hardcover middle grade books lately. telling myself their for my future kiddies, when I actually love reading them myself. Lovely review Lauren, just magical <3

Rachel said...

I enjoy verse novels. So much is conveyed in so few words. Great review, Lauren! :)

Candace said...

This sounds excellent! I love books in verse and it sounds like one that would really bring to life her experiences!

Brandi Kosiner said...

I don't do much poetry but cover is great

Claudine G. said...

I read this and it definitely is one of the top novels-in-verse on my list. Love the heroine!