Inside out and back again By : Elias Caratachea

1975:Year of the Cat

The celebration

In this chapter they are celebrating Tet, in this celebration they get new clothes, good food, and most of all it foretells the rest of the year. In the mourning on this day the men are supposed to be the first people to take a step on the floor to bring good luck, so in spite of that Ha' decides to wake up extra early and place her big toe on the floor knowing the consequences .

Inside out

I Ching teller of fate

This little chapter explains what Ha hopes the "Good luck" will bring her and her family.

Kim Ha'

her brother calls her this when he picks on her.

This chapter is about how she does not really like her brothers and what she does about it and why

Papaya Tree

The chapter "Papaya Tree" is about her growing tree and how she vows to be the fist one to see the ripened fruit when it is ready.

TiTi waves good bye

The flowers her and her friend hoped to plant

The chapter about how her friend left Vietnam to flee with the "rich people"

Missing in action

Fallen but not forgotten

This sad chapter is about how Ha' and her family celebrating her father who was captured 9 years ago on a navy mission.

Mother's Days

Money issues

Mother is a secretary in a navy office and she is doing extra stuff to try and get money.



This text is about the hen that gives them a egg every da and a half. they take turns eating it, the only one that refuses to eat his egg is brother khoi. He puts the egg under a lamp in hopes of hatching an egg.

Current News

Bad news

In class on Fridays in Ms.Xinh's class Ha' and the class talks about current news. With all the distant bombs going off, and all the other bad news they talk about , they now dedicate this day to happy news.

Feel Smart

They think she is weird

In this chapter is about ha going to the market and buying weird groceries that no one else would want to buy. Even though every one else thinks she is weird , she knows she is smart as said in this quote , "No one knows and I feel smart".

Two more papayas

Baby papaya fruit

She explains that her fruit is small now, but it will soon grow into a big fruit," As soft as a yam."

Unknown Father

Her dads favorite meal was eel

In this chapter she (Ha) explains what information that mother let slip about father. One of the things is how he loved stewed eels , pate chaud pastries , and his children so much he would tear up watching us go to sleep. Another thing mother said that they would never say in front of mother is

TV news

a spy had been working for them

This chapter is about how a pilot from south Vietnam bombed the presidential palace and that same guy received a medal that afternoon. Later he was to be identified as a communist spy and has been one for a few years. Brother Quang earns his all famous quote, "One cannot justify war unless each side flaunts its own conviction".


This chapter is going to be about has real birthday, not Tet where its everybody's birthday. she used to get a whole bunch of food but now she does not get nearly as much. When she gets her one wish by asking her mom to tell her stories of her girl hood.

Birthday Wishes

In this chapter she talks about all the wishes that she hopes would come true, like how she could grow her hair out and not have a state curfew. It is basically has dream land.

A Day Downtown

they go to the ceremony just for the food

In this chapter it talks about them going to the presidents ceremony and listen to him talk about winning the war, democracy, and there fathers bravery. Mother just goes along with it so they can get all of the food that they offer for coming. And the food they have there for the guest.

Twisting Twisting

They will not have enough food until next pay day

In this little chapter mother measures the rice. the good news is they have food. the bad news is that the rice they got will not last the family until mothers next pay day. :(

Closed to soon

Ha trying to solve the riddle first

In this medium sized poem they hear sirens and the next thing they know school has been closed a month in advance. When that happens Ha is still trying to figure out the riddle that everybody is trying to solve. The reason she wants this potato plant to put it right next to her papaya plant.


This extremely small chapter Ha explained what her papaya tree is looking like as of right now.

Bridge to Sea

They want to leave but everybody has some thing that is keeping them back

In this chapter it explains that they have the chance to leave. They way they can do that is go through uncles back door , it bypasses the checkpoint and leads straight to the sea. Mother did not want to leave on a raggedy boat that she did not trust. Then uncle explains that they would be fleeing on a navy ship. She also said that we cant abandoned their home . So far mother is not convinced about fleeing

Should we

everybody is wondering if they should go

In this chapter there is more than enough space to leave and bring everyone. On the other hand everybody is having mixed decisions if they should go or not. Brother Quang thinks that if they go then they will be "scrambling away like rats, without honor, without dignity when everyone must stay to help rebuild this country . Brother vu says that he agrees to go, they all know the reason why is because he wants to touch the same ground that Bruce Le did once before.


In this chapter it talks about ha and brother Khoi making a promise to not leave. he does not want to leave because he does not want to leave his chick behind. Ha does not want to leave because of her papaya they each make a promise to not tell any one what they are going to do.

Quiet decition

saving a half bite of sweet potato

In this one page long poem it talks about ha thinking she is good at saving, but mother starts tearing up. mother starts to tear up because she thinks that she should not have to grow up having to care about saving a half bite of sweet potato.

Early monsoon

This one page chapter is called early monsoon because they say bombes explode like thunder and gunfire falls like rain.

the president resigns

mother raises an eyebrow

As the title tells you , the president resighns out of nowhere. he wants people to think that he si still loyal to the country by saying that he cant be there president but he can still help bring the country back on their feet and help bring it back to full health, but mother raises an eyebrow because noing that he is lying and there is really something else in action that he is not telling the people about.

Watch over us

There uncle tells then to be ready at any time. the cant tell any body because everybody will come and only people of navy family will be able to board

Crisscrossed Packs

In this little chapter is about mother sewing bags to pit their stuff in when they leave.


In this chapter called "Choice" she explains what they can and can not bring one pair if clothing, toothpaste and tooth brush soap, ten palms of rice, three clumps of cooked rice, and a choice of one item.

Left Behind

this talks about what they are leaving behind since they only get to bring one item of their choice.

Wet and Crying

This cat is really wet as you can tell that the cat also really does not like it

this chapter is called wet and crying because when they decide to cut down ha's papaya tree the seeds that come out look like they are crying.jggjgjjgjjgjgjgjroijroijij

Sour Backs

In this chapter instead of the navy ships coming being a secret , everybody seems to be there when they arrive. the chapter is called what it is called because when they are walking around everybody backs are "Sour and sweaty".

One Mat Each

In this text it talks about how ha and her family

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