Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again

By Thanhha Lai

113 ratings 151 reviews 178 followers
Interest Level Reading Level Reading A-Z ATOS Word Count
Grades 4 - 8 Grades 3 - 5 U 4.8 14925

Inside Out and Back Again is a #1 New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award!

Inspired by the author's childhood experience as a refugee—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.

For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only 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. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food . . . and the strength of her very own family.

This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny." An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story.

Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN-13: 9780062574022
ISBN-10: 0062574027
Published on 10/24/2017
Binding: Hardcover
Number of pages: 288

Book Reviews (144)

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This is a marvelous book! A wonderful historical fiction about Kim Hà, who moves to Alabama after the collapse of her town, Saigon, as she rides an unpredictable rollercoaster of life. Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai is one of my favorite books, and a worthwhile one to read.

I read this book, thinking it would be a good book. Boy, was I wrong. This book isn't "good", it's incredible! You will love this if you enjoy historical fiction, or just want to dip your toes into the genre.

I really enjoyed the book, I especially liked the fact the story was written in poetic form. This story is about a girl who needs to leave her home country because of war and goes to another country but not out of choice. She goes through a lot of things during the time when they were leaving Vietnam that is crazy to think about.

Inside out and Back again by Thanhha Lai was really a very, very good book. It was filled with courage, dreams, compassion and tru family love and loyalty. This is a story about a young girl who's family is forced to move to the United States of AMerica because the Vietnam War is trashing and throwing their homeland into chaos and it is no longer safe. This book tells of how this family makes their way in the U.S, far away from the place they call home.


I think it was a very good book. It was a sad story, but also very, very good book. I would give it a 5 out of 5 percent rating. I would say the interest level is 4-6grade. Also, I would say the A-Z reading level is U.

Maybe Maybe

It’s an amazing book

It is a good book but it is kind of boring at some point but overall the storyline of the book is pretty good

This book is really good! Inside Out and Back Again is a story about a young girl named Kim Hà and her family, consisting of her Mother and three brothers, being forced to move to the United States because the Vietnam War had reached their home, and it was no longer safe. They board a navy ship and flee. Upon spending a couple months at a refugee camp, they end up moving to Alabama. There Hà struggles with learning English and confronting bullies, including one that she nicknamed Pink Boy, at her new school. Hà at one point said, "No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama."[4] Eventually, she has pushed through those hard times with the help of their next door neighbor, Mrs. Washington and the support of her family. In the beginning of the book, it mentions that Hà's father, a soldier in the Vietnam war, was captured by the North Vietnamese Army when she was only a year old. In the end, Hà's family figures out that unfortunately, her father had died while in North Vietnamese hands. Hà then gets used to living in the U.S and her family celebrates the new year. She prays for good things to happen to her and her family. The main resolution of the book is family importance.

I liked how Inside Out And Back Again by Thanhha Lai grasped the emotions of many readers. With the mystery of Ha's father, it's difficult to stop yourself from reading. An emotional aspect was when Ha took readers through her journey of the Vietnam war reaching her hometown. What will her family do in this situation? Keep reading to find out! Ha also goes through many phases of people bullying her and she doesn't quite know what to do. You'll have so much respect for people from different cultures trying to adjust. I wish the book would give more backstory on Ha's father. It's all talk and no action of what he actually did. I would definitely recommend reading the book!

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