Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai is a great book for young readers and adults both. Recommended to me by my 9-year old daughter; the first book she has read before me and thereafter said to me, “Mom. You have to read this book. It is really good and I think you will like it a lot.” Told in verse, it is the story of a young girl’s experience has she and her family emigrate to the United States following the turmoil of the Vietnam War.
I love what it says on the back cover, “Open this book, read it slowly to savor the delicious language. Before closing it, go back to the beginning, this time to let the story of ten-year-old Hà and the year she escaped from South Vietnam, 1975, leaving behind the world she knew and loved, sink in. Don’t close the covers yet. Read it again to notice how perfect the thin line of the prose itself mirrors the thin line that Hà walks during that year. This is a book that asks the reader to be careful, to pay attention, to sigh at the end.”
My favorite literature genre is Historical Fiction and this one has quickly risen to my top ten. It is no wonder that this book was awarded the Newberry Honor Medal this year. I encourage everyone to read it, especially those desiring a little glimpse of Asian culture.