Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai was just announced as the winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. This is a novel written in blank verse that follows its young heroine as she flees Vietnam when Saigon falls, spends time in refugee camps, and learns to adapt to a new life in Alabama. It is a wonderful story and Ha is a sympathetic heroine. It is definitely a book well worth reading. You can read my original thoughts here.
I read four of the five books that were nominated and don't envy the committee the decision they had to make. The four I read were all excellent and worthy books. Congratulations to Thanhha Lai!