The Block Island Times

"Inside Out & Back Again" is this year's Kids Reading Across R.I. book

May 29, 2013

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, the ‘one book, one state’ initiative for students in grades 4-6, kicks off its fourth year with “Inside Out & Back Again” by Thanhha Lai. A June 1 kickoff event with Thannha Lai at the State House will include a public program and invitation-only writing workshops with the author, and activity centers and exhibits by libraries from across the state. Families in attendance will receive a copy of the book (while supplies last). Rhode Island Commissioner of Education, Deborah Gist, is the 2013 Honorary Chair.

“Inside Out & Back Again”, a 2012 Newbery Honor book, is a semi-autobiographical novel featuring 10-year-old Hà who flees Saigon with her family at the end of the Vietnam War and immigrates to Alabama. “Inside Out & Back Again” was the winner of the 2011 National Book Award in the Young People’s Literature category and received four-starred reviews.

Thanhha Lai has a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in fine arts from New York University. She is a former reporter for the Orange County Register in Southern California and has published numerous short stories in various anthologies and journals. “Inside Out & Back Again” is her first book.

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is a partnership between the R.I. Office of Library and Information Services and the R.I. Center for the Book, made possible through a vibrant collaboration of librarians, teachers, and student readers from across the state. The State House event serves as a kickoff for the annual statewide summer reading program which has a 2013 theme of “Dig Into Reading.” All summer, public libraries statewide are encouraged to offer free programs inspired by “Inside Out & Back Again.”

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