fp February 2011
Inside Out & Back Again
from the book...
For all the ten years of her life, Ha has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . . and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.
But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Ha discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of her very own family.
This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.
If you have read this verse novel and would like to add your review or comments below please send to YARR-A
Ha is a ten year old girl living in Saigon, Vietnam with her mother and three older brothers; her father is captured in North Vietnam. When the Vietnam War reaches her home, Ha and her family are forced to flee. They seek escape on a departing navy ship full of refugees. After weeks on board the ship they reach Guam and are then finally settled in Alabama. The family have been sponsored by a cowboy who is kind towards them. Life is hard for Ha as she has to adapt to a new life, new language, new customs, new food and being different. On top of all this, she becomes the target for the school bully.
Follow this wonderful novel, told in verse, to experience the moving tale of a young girl during a tumultuous year of change in her life. The verse format allows for a strong emotional content as does the first person telling. It also allows for a lot of coverage of Ha’s life with just enough detail. The relationships Ha shares with her brothers and mother is explored as with the difficulties in settling into a new country and establishing new friends. This is certainly a novel worthy of the awards and nominations it has received and it is great to see it published locally in Australia. Recommended for upper primary and lower secondary readers.
Stephen, Canberra, Australia