Inside Out & Back Again

Lai, Thanhha

Zoe Bly



A ten year old Vietnamese girl. Loves fresh her doll, fresh papayas off her tree, and fried donuts. Wishes she could've known her father better. Very smart, but can not speak English. Is the youngest child of 4 (3 brothers). can not stand being teased by her brothers.


A widow with four children, 3 boys 1 girl. Depressed from the missing of husband. Chants every night hoping for father back. Acts calm to be strong for the kids.

Brothers (Quang, Vu Lee, Khôi)

Quang: At 21 years old he is the oldest brother. Going to night school for engineering. Repaired a car that know one else could.

Vu Lee: Refuses to apply to a real college, instead wants to go to a cooking school in San-fran-cis-co. Has a motorcycle. Teaches karate and defense.

Khôi: . Youngest brothers. Going to become a doctor of animals (vet).Had a chicken in Vietnam.

MiSSSisss WaSShington (Mrs. Washington)

MiSSSisss WaSShington: Hà's tutor. She Sticks for her. Very kind lady> son died in Vietnamese war.


1975: Year of the cat. Vietnam house: nice furniture, little house.

Alabama: two bed rooms, nice yard, ugly furniture.

Book ends in 1976: year of the dragon, January 31.

Hà is a ten year old Vietnamese girl. Her father has been MIA for 7 years, so Hà does not know her father. Hà, her mother, and her 3 brothers (Quang, Khôi, and Vu Lee) all live in Vietnam. They are very poor and just have enough money for nessacary things. The war is going on many people are leaving. Hà uncle is arranging a ship so they can leave this dangerous war.

They are on a boat for at least two weeks. There food and water is rationed here. They only have one mat to fit 5 people on. After 2 weeks of sleep, chores, and living in sweat another boat comes. People have a choice to stay on this boat or move to the other. most people move to the other boat, so now the family has two mats.

Now off the boat Hà and her family are trying to get a sponsor, so they can move to America. They finally get a sponsor because of Quang's engineering skills. The sponsor is a cowboy man with a cowboy hat, he takes them to Alabama.

When they first get to Alabama they live in cowboy's house in the basement. Cowboy's wife does not permit them upstairs or to look out the little window. They start to get their life put together. They get a two bed room house, and enroll the kids in school. Quang goes to engineering school. The children are having a hard time in school with bullying. By the end of the book they all realize what they want to be and they set goals for themselves. Quang wants to be an engineer, Vu Lee applies to the cooking school, Khôi decides he wants to be a doctor of animals, and Hà undecided. All this family know is that their life is much better.

Newbery Award

  • Newbery award is awarded anually by American Library Association
  • This award is awarded for the mot didtinguished American childrens book published the previous year.
  • June 22, 1921 Fredrick G. Melcher proposed to the ALA that it be named after John Newbery, eightheenth -century English bookseller.
  • The award was approved by the ALA excutive board in 1922.
  • Purpose of award: "To encourage oringinal creative wook in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, novels. To give give those librarians that make it thier life work to serve children's reading interests, an opportun ity to encourage good writing in this field.
  • First childrens book awars in the world.
  • Best know and most discussed childrens book award in the country
  • Rene Paul Chambellen designed the Newbery medal.
  • The medal the winners name engraved on the back.
  • The medal has the date it was won engraved on on the back.
  • The medal is bronze.
  • Award restricted to authors who are citizens of the U...
  • Committee members must think as a childrens audience when deciding what book to award.
  • It must be the authors original work no one elses.
  • Must be published in English.

About the Author

Thanahha Lai

  • Born in Vietnam in 1965
  • Was born the year of the dragon
  • Youngest of nine children
  • April 30,1975 North Vietnam won the war (living in South Vietnam) so her family scrambled on a Navy ship.
  • Lived in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tries to read a novel evry night.
  • !5 solid hours of writing a week.
  • Plants tomatoes in her garden.
  • Wants a chicken coop woith just three hens.
  • Won Newbery On the book Inside Out & Back Again in 2011.
  • Inside Out & Back Again is pblished Febuary 22, 2011
  • Thanahha has a daughter
  • Also has a puppy
  • Graduated at the University of Texas
  • First worked as a newspaper writer.

5 Stars *****

I very much enjoyed this book because the basing of a true story. I believe the reason why this book won the Newbery medal is just based on how well writen it is. It makes you feel for your characters in a way that you thought u have known them your whole life. Every emotion the characters were having u could feel that emotion in your heart.