Inside Out & Back Again

262 pages

English language

Published Jan. 9, 2011 by Harper.

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4 stars (1 review)

Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

12 editions

I've read this a dozen times.

4 stars

I absolutely loved this story. The verse actually adds to a lot of the elements, pointing out things that I wouldn't have considered before and making me reread sections in order to get it through with the different possible rhythms.

It's such a gorgeous story that there's not much to say about it. I adored this so much, and I loved the inclusion of food as part of the changes. Food was always there, and that's a huge thing for people who migrate; it's always one of the few things that make us comfortable, that really remind us of home, that really make things better (even when situations feel hopeless).


  • Emigration and immigration
  • History
  • Vietnamese Americans
  • Immigrants
  • Novels in verse
  • Fiction