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Inside Out and Back Again Paperback – January 2, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 4,303 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Open this book, read it slowly to savor the delicious language. This is a book that asks the reader to be careful, to pay attention, to sigh at the end.” -- Kathi Appelt, bestselling author of Newbery Honor Book The Underneath

“Based in Lai’s personal experience, this first novel captures a child–refugee’s struggle with rare honesty. Written in accessible, short free–verse poems, Hà’s immediate narrative describes her mistakes―both humorous and heartbreaking; and readers will be moved by Hà’s sorrow as they recognize the anguish of being the outcast.” -- Booklist (starred review)

“The taut portrayal of Hà’s emotional life is especially poignant as she cycles from feeling smart in Vietnam to struggling in the States, and finally regains academic and social confidence. An incisive portrait of human resilience.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An enlightening, poignant and unexpectedly funny novel in verse. In her not-to-be-missed debut, Lai evokes a distinct time and place and presents a complex, realistic heroine whom readers will recognize, even if they haven’t found themselves in a strange new country.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“American and Vietnamese characters alike leap to life through the voice and eyes of a ten–year–old girl―a protagonist so strong, loving, and vivid I longed to hand her a wedge of freshly cut papaya.” -- Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People

“Lai’s spare language captures the sensory disorientation of changing cultures as well as a refugee’s complex emotions and kaleidoscopic loyalties.” -- The Horn Book

“Ha’s voice is full of humor and hope.” -- School Library Journal (starred review)

“In this free-verse narrative, Lai is sparing in her details, painting big pictures with few words and evoking abundant visuals.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Told in compelling free verse.” -- Brightly

From the Back Cover

For all the ten years of her life, Ha has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by, and the beauty of her very own papaya tree. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope.

This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.


Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0061962791
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperCollins; 1st edition (January 2, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780061962790
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 12 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 800L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 3 - 7
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.12 x 0.58 x 7.62 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 4,303 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
4,303 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on August 20, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Suad
5.0 out of 5 stars Very profound!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2018
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2 people found this helpful
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Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great storyline
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 11, 2018
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Mrs. J. R. Thorne
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 23, 2020
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caroline m
5.0 out of 5 stars Short read but worth it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 14, 2018
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TM
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful verse novels I have ever read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2018
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