I read this book at least 5 times. It's that good. Before I continue, I should say that I really enjoy Historical-Fiction books, so this review might turn out to be highly opinionated on that. This book is written in verse, and it's probably my first book that I have read that is written in verse. I think that was a good move for Thanhha Lai, because she could use all of the descriptive words effectively (and amazingly) to describe how the main character, Ha, feels. It's very important to know what the main character feels like, especially because they must have a mixed range of feelings in this situation (Having to immigrate to a foreign country and having to learn a how to make a new living, a new language, and a new way to act). Ha is immigrating from Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Ha's dad is also M.I.A. (missing in action; he was part of the Vietnamese army). Ha's dad used to bring home various things back from his visits to America, when he went on duty. But one time, Ha's dad never came back. Ha lives with her current family, herself, her mother, and her brothers (I must apologize in advance, I do not remember their names, except for brother Quang, or how many there were for that matter, their ages also,). Ha's family is somewhat poor, especially since market prices have been raised a lot since it was "Normal" in Vietnam (this is also emphasized and described in the book, by Ha's perspective). I love re-reading this, also because I always miss a few details, and I get to learn them the next time I read. Speaking of reading, I saw a fellow classmate reading this book earlier today. I was ecstatic that she was reading it- my other friends who have read it did not like it as much as I did, unfortunately- So I walked straight over and told her how amazing I thought the book was, and then I continued and just stood there for AGES blubbering on about how much I loved it, until -of course- my teacher came over and told me to get back to my seat and start working. Overall I would give this book a 5 out of 5 rating, and I would also recommend it to anyone who shares a love for historical fiction books (sorry that audience was a bit vague, I couldn't think of anything that fit). Please let me know if you have read - or are reading- this book. I would LOVE to know what other people would think of this book as well!
( Wow, this ended up being a LONG book review )