Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
I’ve had great luck reading novels written in verse, so much so that I keep thinking surely the streak can’t continue – one of these days I’ll hit a dud. So far though, the streak is intact, as Inside Out and Back Again was fantastic.
While the content of Lai’s novel could make it a difficult read, it’s so beautifully written it ends up being a pleasure. I still might hesitate to hand it over to younger readers depending on their sensitivity, but it’d be an easy one to pre-read if you’ve got any concerns about your children reading it. However, don’t avoid this thinking it’s just for children – it’s not at all – it’s a great book.
My only complaints with it are simply because of the target audience, there ends up being not as much depth to her story as I’d like. Overall though it’s one that I enthusiastically recommend. It’s easy to see why it’s a Newbery Honor book.
The author has a second book out this year, Listen, Slowly, and after reading this one I requested the new one. Listen, Slowly is written in prose, so if you’re not interested in Inside Out and Back Again due to being written in verse, the new one may work for you. I’m eagerly anticipating it.
Don’t skip the information in the back – it adds some of that extra depth I was wanting, and was very interesting! [Read more…]