June 20 is World Refugee Day.
If you have read my book Stepping Stones (illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr and published by Orca Book Publishers), you might enjoy a novel with a similar theme.
Inside Out & Back Again is a beautifully written free verse novel. I love free verse, if it is well done. And this Newbery Honor Book is lovely crafted, a tender tale told from the inside out. Much of the story is autobiographical. In her Q & A pages in the back of the novel, the author explains her own story and how she struggled with finding the right tone for this book. Free verse turned out to be the perfect voice.
Told in the voice of ten year old Há, this is a refugee story from Vietnam.
But it is more than that. It is the story of a close knit family, of loss and love. It is a story of the importance of brothers and how strong a mother can be. It is also the story of how resilient a child can be and how many obstacles for people face in life.
Treat yourself to this fascinating, beautiful read and share it with students to discuss refugees – now and in the past. This book is also winner of the National Book Award.
Harper, ISBN 978-0-06-196279-0