National Book Award winner Thanhha Lai’s beautiful book, Inside Out & Back Again, is Hà’s poetic lament through the Vietnam War, escaping her country and starting life in Alabama as a sponsored refugee family while not knowing the fate of her father. Integrating American culture is painful for this young girl and her family. Brother Khôi stops talking altogether, Brother Quang puts aside college to apprentice as a mechanic and Brother Vu’s Bruce Lee infatuation is his only defense in highschool. Hà’s mother is a strong, intelligent parent dealing with her own grief while raising her children.
Sometimes funny, always poignant, Hà’s observations draw the reader toward a better understanding of others.