Inside Out and Back Again
Ten-year-old Ha and her family are forced to leave their home in South Vietnam as the war rages and Saigon collapses in turmoil. They take a boat to the United States, and are sponsored by a family in Alabama, where no one else has black hair or speaks a language other than English. Ha, her mother, and her older brothers must find a way to get along in this strange new world.
This book is a fast read, and like Locomotion, it is told entirely through a series of poems. Readers are able to see the U.S. through Ha's eyes, from the peculiarities of the English language to the new holidays and food. This is an excellent book to use as a starting point for discussions with students about bullying, and explore reasons why some people distrust those who have different customs. Readers will easily be able to relate to the way Ha misses things about her old life, and to the difficulties of being a new student.
"Mother has always wanted
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