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review 2017-04-14 03:45
Inside Out & Back Again
Inside Out & Back Again - Thanhha Lai

Another bedtime story finished, and another one to read again when Lily is older. 


This is the story of Hà, a refugee girl from Saigon, who flees with her mother and three brothers, at the end of the Vietnam war. She and her family end up in Alabama, where their otherness leads to hurt and frustration. But ultimately, Hà and her family find their place in their new world.  


Hà's story is based on the author's own life and experiences as a young girl from Saigon. I found the book on a list of books that featured people of color, wanting to expose Lily to the various peoples and cultures that she's likely to meet here in this melting pot country.


This story gives us the opportunity to see our home through the eyes of a newcomer, which is so relevant right now... 



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text 2017-04-06 06:12
Reading progress update: I've read 37 out of 272 pages.
Inside Out & Back Again - Thanhha Lai

Our new bedtime story. It's told in poetry, rather than prose.

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text 2015-07-19 03:04
Saturdays' Reads: Local Selection
Storm in a Teacup (Ayala Storme Book 1) - Emmie Mears
Daddy was an Undertaker - McDill McCown Gassman,John V. Graven
Inside Out & Back Again - Thanhha Lai
Gone Crazy in Alabama - Rita Williams-Garcia
Chapelwood: The Borden Dispatches - Cherie Priest

I haven't finished a book in a while and I'm already a few books behind on reviews. So instead I'm making a short list of book recommendations with the common thread of all being set near where I live. My stomping grounds are the American south, specifically northern Alabama. 


 Up first, recent release Storm in a Teacup is set largely in Nashville, not quite two hours from here. In this world, Alabama has been lost to demon hordes in the recent past. Book two visits a few locations even closer to the state line and includes a flashback to the fall of the deep south.


 Next, a memoir in the form of verse recounting the experiences of the author after moving from Vietnam to Alabama. This is intended for a middle grade audience, but is a good read for anyone, really.


 Finally, a difficult to find biography of Huntsville, Alabama's first undertaker. Written by one of his daughters in the 50's, this is as much about Huntsville in the 20's as it is about one man.


Bonus: two books I'm looking forward to reading that are also set in Alabama:




Where are you from? What should I read that is set there?

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review 2015-06-16 01:01
Inside Out & Back Again
Inside Out & Back Again - Thanhha Lai

Written in verse, Ha tells us what it is like to be a refuge from Vietnam. Her father is a Navy MIA soldier and as the youngest daughter of the family, you can feel the fear and the honesty in the words and the actions as Ha adjusts to the situations around her.   Traveling by boat, the situation at sea is tense as the rations are cut back and individuals are told to sit to conserve their energy. The sight of land rises hope in everyone and when their feet arrive on dry ground, the family immediately starts to help others in the tent city. The tent city, such a change from what they expected and what they came from but the sights and the sounds are better than what they experienced on the ship. America, it is the city the family is destined for and their adjustment to this new opportunity is more than they expected. Their visions and expectations are based on what they knew and what they have been told and I hoped the best for them, as their journey already has been long. Mother feels America will provide what the family needs and as the family tries to adjust, I was laughing. Laughing, not at them but for the things that Ha said as she adjusted and tried to understand the world around, for sometimes the world does not make sense, it just is. Things are just the way they are for no other reason but only for the reason that is how they have been done forever.  

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text 2014-04-10 14:00
Monthly Key Word Challenge ~ March {Completed}
Miss Happiness And Miss Flower - Rumer Godden
The Forever Affair - Catherine George,George
Forever and a Day (Emilie Loring #34) (B... Forever and a Day (Emilie Loring #34) (Bantam Books #QL2404) - Emilie Loring
Inside Out and Back Again - Thanhha Lai
Sky Jumpers - Peggy Eddleman
Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky #1) - Veronica Rossi
If I Stay - Gayle Forman
Eye of the Storm - Kate Messner

Monthly Key Words: Flower, Forever, Inside, Sky, Stay, Storm


Most exciting YA ~ Under the Never Sky


Most exciting younger YA ~ Eye of the Storm


Most exciting younger YA with equally good sequel ~ Sky Jumpers, Book 1


Most dated, but interesting ~ Forever and a Day


Most dated, but annoying ~ Forever Affair


Sweetest ~ Miss Happiness and Miss Flower


Based on author's life ~ Inside Out and Back Again


Most disappointing ~ If I Stay

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