Study Guide

Inside Out & Back Again What's Up With the Ending?

By Thanhha Lai

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What's Up With the Ending?

A full year has passed since the book has opened, which means it's Tet again, though now they're in Alabama instead of Saigon. While everyone else in the family is silently praying, Hà finishes early, so after praying for each person in her family, she closes her eyes again and hopes that she learns to fly-kick this year.

It's a lighthearted note to end on, which shows us that Hà really is back to normal—changed, yes, but herself: happy, childlike, impatient, and curious. She likes being good at things and feeling smart, so of course wants to move on from merely defensive moves to offensive martial arts maneuvers. It's not because she wants to fight or anything like that, but instead because she wants the thrill of "flying" through the air, strong and capable.

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