Sunday, August 7, 2016

Review: INSIDE OUT & BACK AGAIN by Thanhha Lai

Rating: 3/5 stars

Written in verse, this book follows Hà, a young Vietnamese girl, through one year during the time of the Vietnam War. It is based on a true story of the author, Thanhha Lai, when she immigrated to Alabama from Vietnam. If read carefully, this book has a lot of deeper meaning to it than the words can simply tell you. It is full of culture. This book is really short and I recommend you read it in one sitting to get the most meaning from it.

Hà lives with her mother and three older brothers while their father fights in the war. They are a poor family living in a desperate situation, and you really get to see this through Hà's descriptions of food and her town and people. The war threatens Hà and her family to flee their home and board a ship in hope of a better life.

Hà said they were a poor family and each had only one pair of shoes. I have an aunt that is from Vietnam, and she told me a story of her childhood when her whole family had only one pair of shoes to share between all of them. I understand that this novel is based on the author's own experience, but her family must not have been as poor as others. It's interesting to me to compare these two experiences of life in Vietnam.

Being written in free verse really adds to the story. It helps you see inside the mind of ten-year-old Hà with her quick, sharp thoughts. I don't think there was any better way this story could have been told.

No comments:

Post a Comment