Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Ha wishes to be considered smart and she wants happiness for her family. Ha is ten years old. She is in Vietnam with her family - everyone except her father. Her father has never returned; he has been MIA from the South Vietnamese Navy for nine years. They escape Vietnam the night before Saigon falls during the war. The refugees reach a tent city in Guam, then Florida and finally a house (from a sponsor) in Alabama. Ha no longer feels smart because of the differences in language and customs. She feels bullied by her classmates. She never accepts the bullying, but she does understand that hope and humor will help.
This historical fiction is very unique. It is written in free verse. It is the first novel ever written by Thanhha Lai. Thanks Thanhha Lai for presenting a person who just wants to fit in and be respected. I can understand why this book is a Rebecca Caudill 2013 Award nominee.