Lots of reading going on as I prepare for a book review session laughingly titled "The Best Books for Children and Teens for 2011". AAAAAHHHHH!!!!! How am I going to do this?
So I have read 7 or 8 books (a couple of those were picture books) in the past five days. My favorite book of the week?....
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (Harper, 2011, 978-0-06-1962783) Ha (there is a diacritical mark over the a that I can't easily reproduce, alas), her mother and her three older brothers escape Saigon as it is being seized by the North Vietnamese and move to Alabama. 10-year-old Ha suffers at the hands of her classmates. Her whole family endures the hatred of their neighbors. Worse than all of this is the worry that Father, who disappeared nine years before, will never find them.
Written in prose verse, this book opens the reader's eyes to how America looks to immigrants from very different cultures. The book has touches of humor but the main story is of Ha and how she finds the strength to make friends and go on.
My second favorite book of the week....How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr. Review to come.