Synopses & Reviews
Inside Out and Back Again
is a New York Times
bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.
Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.
This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny."
An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story. This paperback edition also includes an interview with the author, an activity you can do with your family, tips on writing poetry, and discussion questions.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
“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, H
"The taut portrayal of H
“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 havent 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 tenyearold girla protagonist so strong, loving, and vivid I longed to hand her a wedge of freshly cut papaya.” Mitali Perkins, author of Bamboo People
“Lais spare language captures the sensory disorientation of changing cultures as well as a refugees complex emotions and kaleidoscopic loyalties.” The Horn Book
“Has 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 & #8217;s Books
“Based in Lais personal experience, this first novel captures a childrefugees struggle with rare honesty. Written in accessible, short freeverse poems, H
“The taut portrayal of H
Best Children's Book of 2012
A Bank Street College of Education Best Book
* "A beautiful tale of perseverance."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Readers will be enchanted."—VOYA
"[A] lyrical glimpse of early twentieth-century Cuba."—Booklist
"Engles writing is customarily lovely."—Publishers Weekly
"[A] remarkable, intimate depiction of Fefa's struggle with dyslexia; Engle is masterful at using words to evoke this difficulty, and even those readers unfamiliar with the condition will understand its meaning through her rich use of imagery and detail."—Bulletin
"The idea of a wild book on which to let her words sprout is one that should speak to those with reading difficulties and to aspiring poets as well."—School Library Journal
A Pura Belpré Honor Book
Winner of the 2014 PEN Literary Award for Best Young Adult Book
VOYA Top Shelf for Middle School Readers 2013 list
2014 International Latino Book Award Honorable Mention
An NCTE Notable Book for the Language Arts
An ALSC Notable Children's Book for 2013
YALSA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults
* "This is the context for a splendid novel that celebrates one brave woman who rejected a constrained existence with enduring words that continue to sing of freedom."
—Booklist, starred review
"An inspiring fictionalized verse biography of one of Cuba's most influential writers. . . . Fiery and engaging, a powerful portrait of the liberating power of art."
"In these poems, their longings for freedom, their fears, their loves, and their heartaches are elegantly crafted through images that make the island of Cuba and its people vividly real and connect them to the hearts of contemporary readers."
"A quick and powerful read worthy of addition to any collection. The verses speak of tolerance and acceptance beyond the context of this story."
—VOYA 4Q 2P M J S
"Engle adds another superb title to her lengthening list of historical novels in verse. . . . This is a must-have for . . . anyone in need of a comparative study to our own country's struggle with slavery."
—School Library Journal
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.
Join nine-year-oldand#160;Catfish Sam as he captures a day of adventure in his netand#8212;and in verse and#8212; in this unique middle grade novel told through poems and comic illustrations.
andldquo;Just the thing for readers with a burgeoning interest in poetryandmdash;or angling.andrdquo;andmdash;Publishers Weekly
Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, heandrsquo;s none too pleased. All ends well in this winsome book of poemsandmdash;each labeled with its proper poetic form. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and foundandmdash;and, most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poetandrsquo;s Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.
Newbery Honor-winner Margarita Engle tells her most personal story to date, a glowing portrait in verse of her Cuban grandmother as a young girl struggling with dyslexia.
Fefa struggles with words. She has word blindness, or dyslexia, and the doctor says she will never read or write. Every time she tries, the letters jumble and spill off the page, leaping away like bullfrogs. How will she ever understand them?
But her mother has an idea. She gives Fefa a blank book filled with clean white pages. "Think of it as a garden," she says. Soon Fefa starts to sprinkle words across the pages of her wild book. She lets her words sprout like seedlings, shaky at first, then growing stronger and surer with each new day. And when her family is threatened, it is what Fefa has learned from her wild book that saves them.
Newbery Honor-winner Margarita Engle tells the story of Cuban folk hero, abolitionist, and women's rights pioneer Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda in this powerful YA historical novel in verse.
“I find it so easy to forget / that I’m just a girl who is expected / to live / without thoughts.”
Opposing slavery in Cuba in the nineteenth century was dangerous. The most daring abolitionists were poets who veiled their work in metaphor. Of these, the boldest was Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, nicknamed Tula. In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.
About the Author
Tamera Wissinger was inspired to write this novel-in-verse after writing "Night Crawlers," a poem that stemmed from her fun childhood memories of night crawler hunting withandnbsp;her dad before fishing trips. A graduate of Hamline Universityand#8217;s MFA Writing for Children program, Tamera Wissinger shares her time between Chicago and Florida. This is her first book.