Thorndike Press

Inside Out and Back Again

  • Thanhha Lai
  • Offered By: Thorndike Striving Reader
  • ISBN-10: 1432859919
  • ISBN-13: 9781432859916
  • DDC: Fic
  • Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs ( .45 kgs)
  • 285 Pages | Hardcover
  • Published/Released December 2018



A #1 New York Times Bestseller
A National Book Award Winner
A Newbery Medal Winner

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.

Grades 3-7 | Age 8-12 | Lexile 800


Customer Reviews

Hà's voice is full of humor and hope.

— School Library Journal (starred)

Based in Lai's personal experience, this first novel captures a child–refugee's struggle with rare honesty. Written in accessible, short free–verse poems, Hà's immediate narrative describes her mistakes— both humorous and heartbreaking; and readers will be moved by Hà's sorrow as they recognize the anguish of being the outcast.

— Booklist (starred)

The taut portrayal of Hà's emotional life is especially poignant as she cycles from feeling smart in Vietnam to struggling in the States, and finally regains academic and social confidence. An incisive portrait of human resilience.

— Publishers Weekly (starred)

An enlightening, poignant and unexpectedly funny novel in verse. In her not-to-be-missed debut, Lai evokes a distinct time and place and presents a complex, realistic heroine whom readers will recognize, even if they haven't found themselves in a strange new country.

— Kirkus Reviews (starred)