- Published: New York : HarperCollins, 2011.
- Year Published: 2011
- Edition: 1st ed.
- Description: 261 p.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
- Lexile: 800
- 9780061962783 (trade bdg.)
- 0061962783 (trade bdg.)
- Novels in verse.
- Vietnamese Americans -- Fiction.
- Emigration and immigration -- Fiction.
- Immigrants -- Fiction.
- Vietnam -- History -- Fiction. -- 1971-1980
- Alabama -- Fiction. -- History -- 1951
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Inside out and back again
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Where To Find It
Available Copies: Downtown Youth, Pittsfield Youth
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
Reviews & Summaries
Ha's experience is captured in a series of "poems" from her point of view, with each poem serving as one chapter. The language is often beautiful and sometimes quite moving. I particularly liked the line, "No one would believe me / but at times / I would choose / wartime in Saigon / over / peacetime in Alabama".
The one thing that will keep me from remembering and recommending this book to others in the future is that so much of the book is about Ha's feelings and responses to people around her that it's not always clear what the other people and places she's in look, sound, and act like. The focus is so heavily internal that I had a hard time imagining the external, so there aren't many images of scenes that linger in the mind.
I did enjoy the read, but it's not one that invites re-reading.
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