Book Review of Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

What a poignant yet charming novel! It is a first person narrative expressed exquisitely in free flowing verses.
It is the wistful and moving story of a 10 year old bright, whimsical and imaginative girl and her family who are forced to flee from Vietnam to US when the Vietnam war escalates, reaches their hometown and threatens their safety. She takes us through the life changing experience as she writes about their days back in Vietnam, the harrowing and uncomfortable journey to foreign shores and making a home away from home while overcoming the language and culture barriers, amidst strangers…some of them kind and welcoming, some indifferent and some rude and bullying.
Told through the eyes of a child, the events and the feelings unfold, laying bare emotions ranging from cheerfulness, yearning, fear, sadness, relief, remembrance, hope, humiliation, anger, acceptance and finally promise of new beginnings.
A beautiful and strongly recommended read.

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