Book reviews...from picture books to adult books, as well as books-to-movie info, and other stuff I think is interesting. Note: Not all books reviewed or recommended are appropriate for all ages.
MAY 22, 2012
Inside Out & Back Again
I highly recommend Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai to all ages of chapter book readers, including adults. This memoir-like book in verse tells the story of Ha, a young Vietnamese refugee girl, and her family, who fled to the United States right before the fall of Saigon during the Vietnam War.
Ending up in a small rural community in Alabama, Ha struggles to learn English and assimilate to a foreign culture within a sometimes hostile environment.
Written in short poems, this would be a powerful read-aloud...it is poignant and compelling in Ha's authentic and often funny voice, and gives a very unique perspective on this time in history.
This novel, which is loosely based on the author's own childhood experience is a Newbery Honor recipient, as well as a National Book Award Winner.
Every once in awhile I read a book I like so much that even when I'm finished reading, it is hard to return it...because I don't want it to be over. The novel, Tall Story, was like that for me.
A very unique story told from the alternating perspectives of Bernanrdo and Andi, a brother and sister, who get acquainted for the first time in their lives, when Bernardo finally gets his paperwork approved to move from his homeland of the Phillipines, where he has been staying with his aunt and uncle, to London with his mother, stepfather, and younger sister.
Because of his 8 feet tall staure, Bernardo is believed by the local villagers to have the powers of a legendary giant. He leaves for London secretly, as people believe he is protecting them from earthquakes and other misfortune.
Andi, who loves basketball but is very disappointed that her new school only has a boys' team, is doubly frustrated when the boys' team is thrilled to have Bernardo on their team because of his height, even though he can barely play.
Meanwhile, Bernardo and Andi's mother, a nurse, is extremely worried about Bernardo's extreme height, realizing that he likely has as serious health condition.
This story is full of heart and an interesting plot line--and you really feel like you get to know both the characters so well...with the alternating chapters from their points of view. I think this would also make a great book to read-aloud.