Inside Out & Back Again

By Jessica Le

Thanhha Lai

An empowering story showing the thrills of Saigon turning into a devastating battlefield. Leaving poor,heartbroken refugees to flee as Saigon trembles. Boarding a ship for hope of a peaceful end to this massacre. One girl's life changes drastically with dreams ,grief, and healing as she converts from one country to a whole new life.


Inside Out and Back Again is the story of the life of Hà, a ten-year-old girl who flees to America with her mother and brothers. They are escaping the Vietnam War and building safer lives for themselves. Written in short poems, it is an honest perspective of Hà as she leaves behind the only home she's ever had and travels by boat to America. She may have left the physical difficulties behind, but plenty of emotional tragedies await her. At the end of the year, they are all holding onto hope that life will keep getting better.


'' She cannot bear to look in his forever young eyes.''
''I can't make my brothers go live somewhere else, but I can hide their sandals."

''Father watches over us even if he isn't here."
"One cannot justify war. Unless each side flaunts its own. Blind conviction."

''A siren screams over Miss Xinh's voice School's now closed;Everyone must go home a month too soon.


This is a beautiful and inspiring story. Showing the difficulties between politics, race, and religion of a different country. Just fitting in was a difficult task for Hà. In hope of a new life Hà and her family flee on a ship. Ha receives cruel rejection from her classmates because of difference. That was all Hà was, different. As this heartbreaking story ends Hà and her family hope for an evolving safer life.


If you liked this book I recommend you read some of the other books Thanhha Lai wrote. For example, Listen,Slowly and Guys Read: True Stories.

Product Details

Grade Level- 3-5

Age Range- 7-11

Pages- 1-262

Publisher- HarperCollins Children's Books