Told as a series of poems, Inside Out and Back Again tells the story of 10 year old Ha’s life growing up in Vietnam during the war. While a harsh life, her poems tell the story of a good life.However life changes when South Vietnam loses the war and Ha and her family are sponsored to go to America. Life becomes more of a struggle – from being top in the class, she is now the struggler. She struggles with the language, she struggles with the food, she struggles with the customs. Help from a new neighbour, gives Ha the confidence she needs to begin to integrate into American society.
The poems create a strong sense of the vibrancy and life of old Vietnam and Alabama of the 1970s.
The poetry is beautifully written and form a narrative that is very easy to follow.