Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again

by Thanhha Lai


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061962790
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/02/2013
Pages: 262
Sales rank: 1,301
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 7.46(h) x 0.64(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Thanhhà Lai is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Inside Out & Back Again, her debut novel in verse, which won both a National Book Award and a Newbery Honor, and the acclaimed Listen, Slowly, which was named to numerous best book of the year lists. She was born in Viêt Nam and now lives in New York with her family. To learn more about Thanhhà and her charity, Viet Kids Inc., visit

What People are Saying About This

Mitali Perkins

“American and Vietnamese characters alike leap to life through the voice and eyes of a ten–year–old girl—a protagonist so strong, loving, and vivid I longed to hand her a wedge of freshly cut papaya.”

Kathi Appelt

“Open this book, read it slowly to savor the delicious language. This is a book that asks the reader to be careful, to pay attention, to sigh at the end.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Inside Out and Back Again 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 214 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with this book. It was breathtakingly written by Thannha Lai. I read the poems many times each, and I can almost feel the tree that Ha plants. Buy this book!
LIV2read More than 1 year ago
This book tells how it was in Vietnam immediately before the fall of Saigon and the turbulent aftermath when everyone was forced to flee. Thing is, it's from the point of view of a little girl, Ha, 10 years old. She paints beautiful verbal pictures of her life and traditions in Vietnam, and also gives little glimpses into what she's thinking and struggling with. When her family moves to the United States, she continues writing about her experiences and her feelings about her new life. She experiences hardship and heartbreak, and the thought that she doesn't fit in. In case you think this is a depressing book, let me assure you it isn't. Obviously, there are some sad spots, but there is beauty and humor and a lot of insight into the world this child sees. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I read it with my 9 yr old granddaughter, a few poems each night, taking turns reading. She would beg for 'one more, one more', until we read 30 minutes or more. We discussed certain poems and re-read others. I looked forward to reading it as much as she did!
merimoblue More than 1 year ago
I would say this is a really good book if you like poems that tell a story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Book. Im encouraging you to gey lt it. Some parts are harder to understand. But still a good book!
Gary Martinson More than 1 year ago
I can not stop reading this book about Kim and her new life in America for she can go through life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book sooooooooooooo much Get It
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome because it is inspiring and it also shows how some exchange students feel or act. I definently recomend getting this book. Click "yes" if you agree.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just to let you know,the author of this book made it all about her own life in many ways.This book is almost an autobiography,so the author went through most of the stuff Ha went through,if not all of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ChildofAthena11 More than 1 year ago
Poems can be so sorely misunderstood, but this book helps people to understand that the hardest of times are supported by the words that we hold from within.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Touching story of a girl from vietnam
Vonneeee More than 1 year ago
Read this book and decided to give one each to my two nieces. They loved the book too and so did their parents. Some points need to be explained to young kids but, it's still a great book. They mention Guam as a stopping point on their journey to America which was exciting for me because I'm from Guam and still live here. I was just a baby when the refugees from Vietnam stayed here. It was very interesting to get her perspective.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its good but in general i dont like poems that much dont judg me u guys have ur own oppinions
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
118 reviews? Seriously? This book gets the national book award, but only gets 118 reviews on nook. This was too amazing a book to have not have more people read and review it. The people who don't like this book just can't get the writing style. I'll admit, I hated the writing style at the beginning of the book. I kept reading, and the style eventually grew on me. I like poems, but I still am not entirely happy with the wring style. But don't get me wrong, this was an incredible read. It doesn't have inappropriate content or lots of violence, so I think even younger kids could read it, if theif reading level is high enough. I loved this book. It is a must read. - The Nerdy Bookworm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was good but a peom story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a geart book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved This Book !
xxBella More than 1 year ago
Absolutely beautiful. I thought that this book was beautifully written. It's perfect. The plot is very interesting. I LOVED this book, finished it in one day, couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great at seeing the girls life and feelings VERY touching story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great. I fell in love with it the first half. People shoyld read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a recamending book if there were my hunded favorite books on on earth i would pick this book,inside out and back again,its a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good and i love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome its so good not just bescuse its aDCF book it also made me under stan so of the past
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Days in someone else's life, not just a story.