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Inside Out & Back Again

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

About This Year’s Book

Inside Out & Back Again (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

About the Author

Thanhha Lai was born in Vietnam and, like the character in the book, fled with her family to Alabama at the end of the Vietnam War. She 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.

About Kids About Reading Across Rhode Island

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is a partnership between the RI Office of Library and Information Services and the RI 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 will offer free programs inspired by Inside Out & Back Again.

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is a project of the RI Office of Library and Information Services with major support from Library Services and Technology Acts funds through a grant from the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Rhode Island Center for the Book.

Reading Across Rhode Island Kick Off Celebration!


Saturday, June 1 from 1:00 - 4:00 PM
RI State House - Free parking in the State of RI lots

Thanhha Lai will speak at 2:30 PM. There will be a book sale and signing. A free copy of the book Inside Out & Back Again, will be given out (one per family) while supplies last. Enjoy the crafts and games from RI libraries.

Performers and Exhibitors

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