Bound To Stay Bound

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 Inside out & back again
 Author: Lai, Thanhha

 Publisher:  HarperCollins (2011)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 262 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 537364 ISBN: 9780061962783
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Subjects:
 Novels in verse
 Vietnamese Americans -- Fiction
 Immigrants -- Fiction
 Vietnam -- History -- 1971-1980 -- Fiction
 Alabama -- History -- 1951- -- Fiction

Price: $20.76

Summary:
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.80
   Points: 2.0   Quiz: 142622
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 5.30
   Points: 5.0   Quiz: 53258

Awards:
 Newbery Honor, 2012

Common Core Standards 
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 4 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 4.RF Phonics & Word Recognition
   Grade 4 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 4.RF Fluency
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 5 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 5.RF Phonics & Word Recognition
   Grade 5 → Reading → RF Foundational Skills → 5.RF Fluency
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 5 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Key Ideas & Details
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Craft & Structure
   Grade 3 → Reading → RL Literature → 3.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
   Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
   Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
   Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo

Reviews:
   School Library Journal (+) (03/01/11)
   Booklist (+) (01/01/11)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (03/11)
 The Hornbook (03/11)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 01/01/2011 *Starred Review* After her father has been missing in action for nine years during the Vietnam War, 10-year-old Hà flees with her mother and three older brothers. Traveling first by boat, the family reaches a tent city in Guam, moves on to Florida, and is finally connected with sponsors in Alabama, where Hà finds refuge but also cruel rejection, especially from mean classmates. Based on Lai’s personal experience, this first novel captures a child-refugee’s struggle with rare honesty. Written in accessible, short free-verse poems, Hà’s immediate narrative describes her mistakes—both humorous and heartbreaking—with grammar, customs, and dress (she wears a flannel nightgown to school, for example); and readers will be moved by Hà’s sorrow as they recognize the anguish of being the outcast who spends lunchtime hiding in the bathroom. Eventually, Hà does get back at the sneering kids who bully her at school, and she finds help adjusting to her new life from a kind teacher who lost a son in Vietnam. The elemental details of Hà’s struggle dramatize a foreigner’s experience of alienation. And even as she begins to shape a new life, there is no easy comfort: her father is still gone. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.

Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2011 Things have been tough for ten-year-old Hà, whose father was declared MIA with the Vietnamese navy when she was just a baby; now her family, on the brink of certain poverty, decides to flee Saigon, just barely getting out before the city falls to the Communists in April of 1975. They end up in Alabama (by way of Guam and Florida), where they are sponsored by an American family and given a chance to begin a new life. There Hà learns that there are different kinds of misery: while her family now has food and shelter, they are largely unwelcomed in their community and she is constantly bullied at school. In the end, a handful of sympathetic neighbors take up for the family, Hà learns to stand up for herself, her mother accepts and begins to mourn for Hà’s father’s likely death, and things begin to improve. In this free-verse narrative based on her own life, Lai is sparing in her details, painting big pictures with few words and evoking abundant visuals. There is unfortunately very little context provided for the story, so that readers not familiar with the basic facts of the Vietnam War may struggle to understand the story’s trajectory. The earlier part of the novel is definitely stronger; the details of the family’s inescapable plunge into poverty and of Hà’s mother’s unbearable sadness at the absence of her husband pack a far greater emotional punch than Hà’s troubles at school. Still, young readers, especially those new to this country, may relate to Hà’s efforts and cheer on her success in overcoming the challenges. HM - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 03/01/2011 Gr 4–6—A story based on the author's childhood experiences. Hà is 10 when Saigon falls and her family flees Vietnam. First on a ship, then in two refugee camps, and then finally in Alabama, she and her family struggle to fit in and make a home. As Hà deals with leaving behind all that is familiar, she tries to contain her temper, especially in the face of school bullies and the inconsistencies of the English language. She misses her papaya tree, and her family worries about friends and family remaining in Vietnam, especially her father, who was captured by Communist forces several years earlier. Told in verse, each passage is given a date so readers can easily follow the progression of time. Sensory language describing the rich smells and tastes of Vietnam draws readers in and contrasts with Hà's perceptions of bland American food, and the immediacy of the narrative will appeal to those who do not usually enjoy historical fiction. Even through her frustration with her new life and the annoyances of her three older brothers, her voice is full of humor and hope.—Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MD - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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