4th - 8th
This really was an amazing book. Better than any other book I've read, it really helped the reader understand the feelings and emotions of the main character - Ha. And the author is so good at showing Ha's personality in just a few lines with her actions. The whole story is told in free-verse poetry. It reminds me so much of Out of the Dust, in that each journal entry (free verse poem) focuses on a different scene/image/emotion that helps move the plot along. I remember how some vietnamese families came to our town in the 1970s, so it was interesting to hear how it worked for Ha's family with being at a camp in Florida, and having to have someone come to the camp to ask for you. Her brothers and mother were well fleshed-out to. And some old-fashioned hero-appearing was great, too, in the form of a family member. Awesome book. Wish I could read just a heap of books like this. It captures the imagery and emotion so well, as well as having a good plot. Maybe I'll read again.