December 11, 2011 | goulds
Inside out & back again by Thanhha Lai — Do you enjoy reading diaries? Do you like historical fiction? A wonderful adventure is in store for you then. This book justly deserved winning The National Book Award for Young People's Literature, as well as two other awards. Meet Ha, a bright, feisty 10-year-old girl, who must flee her home in Vietnam along with her mother and three older brothers. When they arrive in Florida they must stay at a refugeee camp until a family is found to sponsor them. "Cowboy" and his wife in Alabama agree to do so and yet another chapter begins in a very challenging year for Ha. She faces bullies, prejudice, an unknown language, and a deep longing for her friends, family, and life in Saigon. Not only are Ha's diary entries full of action and adventure that keep you turning pages, but they also introduce you to a cast of characters who are so vividly protrayed, you feel as if you know them. Ha's relationships with her brothers depict typical sibling rivilry, as well as loving unity. Much of what happens to Ha is based on what Lai experienced as a child. This marvelous diary with substance will have readers of all ages reflecting, learning, and laughing.