Study Guide

Inside Out & Back Again Summary

By Thanhha Lai

Inside Out & Back Again Summary

From Saigon to Alabama, Inside Out and Back Again is the story of a year in the life of Hà, a ten-year-old girl who flees Vietnam with her mother and brothers, in hopes of escaping the Vietnam War and building new—and safer—lives for themselves in the United States.

Written as a series of short poems, it is a sparse and honest narrative that follows Hà as she leaves behind the only home she's ever known to travel by boat to America. She may have left war behind, but plenty of difficulty awaits, and Hà and her family struggle to find their footing in the United States. At the end of the year, though—and as the book ends—they're finally getting their bearings, all holding onto hope that life will keep getting better.

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