Saturday, April 16, 2011

National Poetry Month: Inside Out and Back Again

Black and White and Yellow and Red

The bell rings.
Everyone stands.
I stand.

They line up;
so do I.

Down a hall.
Turn left.
Take a tray.
Receive food.

On one side
of the bright, noisy room,
light skin.
Other side,
dark skin.

Both laughing, chewing,
as if it never occured
to them
someone medium
would show up.

I don't know where to sit
any more than
I know how to eat
the pink sausage
snuggled inside bread
shaped like a corncob,
smeared with sauces
yellow and red.

I think
they are making fun
of the Vietnamese flag
until I remember
no one here likely knows
that flag's colors.

I put down the try
and wait
in the hallway.

September 2
11:30 am

Inside Out and Back AgainInside Out and Back Again Thanhha Lai

I got to review this wonderful novel for School Library Journal. My full review is here.

If you don't want to click over and read, here's the takeaway:

1. It got a star
2. 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

Book Provided by... School Library Journal, for review

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