Inside Out & Back Again

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Inside Out & Back Again
Author Thanhha Lai
Cover artist Zdenko Bašić, Manuel Šumberac, Ray Shappell
Country United States
Language English
Genre Historical Fiction
Publisher HarperCollins
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 263
ISBN 978-0-06-196278-3
OCLC 606403465

Inside Out & Back Again is a verse novel by Thanhha Lai.[1] The book was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for Young People's Literature[2] and one of the two Newbery Honors.[3] The novel was based on her first year in the United States, as a ten-year-old girl that spoke no English in 1975.

Plot Summary[edit]

Inside Out and Back Again is a story about a young girl named Hà and her family 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 she 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. At the end they are all happy.


  1. ^ "Thanhha Lai - About the Author". HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "2011 National Book Award Winner, Young People's Literature". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "2012 Honor Books". American Library Association. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "About the Book Inside Out and Back Again". HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 

External links[edit]