This novel is written in verse that is sparse and beautiful, yet says so much. The plot moves along and the reader gets to know Ha and everyone around her through her poems. Each poem has a clear subject and could stand on its own, but together they form a bigger picture. The novel is based on the author’s life, so it felt very authentic. Fans of poetry will enjoy this book, but those aren't the only ones. The book reads very similarly to a regular novel so anyone interested in learning about other cultures, and Vietnam in particular will be able to enjoy this book. Anyone who has ever felt like a fish out of water or who has had to deal with older brothers will be able to relate to Ha.
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
3rd - 6th Grade
Tags: Family Life, Historical Fiction, Novels in Verse, People of Color, Poetry