Inside Out and Back Again

Hadley Winter

Image your whole life being uprooted due to war, this is the story of Ha.Thanhha Lai’s, the author of the book, Inside Out And Back Again is an inspiring story about a young girl named Ha who lives in Saigon, Vietnam. Ha lives at home with her mom, and three brothers and has a normal life. This is until the war moves to her home.

Her oldest brother, Brother Quang, is twenty one years old and studies engineering. Brother Vu is her next oldest brother. He is eighteen years old and wants to be just like Bruce Lee. The youngest of the brothers is Brother Khoi who is sixteen years old and loves animals and nature. Ha is the youngest at twelve years old and always stands up for herself. Sadly, when Ha was young, her father was captured in war and did not return. Ha had no memories of her father except for the pictures her mother kept.  

Ha still had some hope that her father was going to come back until the Vietnam War had reached Saigon. Then, the president of Saigon started to have a break down, but things escalated when his palace was bombed by communist soldiers. Ha’s family was then forced to leave their home but then her Uncle told them of a army ship they could escape onto. This ship was only for families with relatives in the army, but soon enough all of Saigon knew of the boat, and was rushing to the port. Fortunately, Ha and her family all made it onto the ship safely.

After being rescued by an American ship and brought to United States, the family ends up staying with a cowboy in Alabama. Soon after getting to Alabama, Ha started going to school. Since she did not finish her last grade in Vietnam, she had to start the grade over again in Alabama.  Early into her days of school Ha starts to be bullied. As soon as her family gets involved, things start escalating with the boy that was bully her.

This is a good book for people who like realistic fiction and learning some history with it. This book is also significant because it’s not too long and not too short so you can read it in a good amount of time. All in all, this was an inspiring book to read about a girl and how she was forced from her home to the unknown land in America.