Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

"One cannot justify war 
unless each side
Flaunts its own 
Blind conviction" (page 25)

I am so thankful to be a reader. 

For a few hours, I live someone else' life. When the experience is over, I return to myself transformed.


Upon first glance you might think Inside Out and Back Again will be an easy read. It's written in free verse and there are few words on a page. 

You would be wrong. 

I'm warning you, 
those sparse words 
pack a wallop. 
A word here
a phrase there
brings you to your knees.
Gasping for air
you close the book 
and let the full import sink in.

It is the story of Kim Há and her family in the year following the end of the Vietnam war. They flee Saigon and end up in a small town in Alabama. Narrated by Kim Há, this book sent me on an emotional roller coaster. Fear, anger, confusion and grief infuse the text. 
I dare you to read it and not cry.

All stories shift our worldview, but some of them let us know they have done it.

Inside Out and Back Again is one of them.

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