1 book, 1 community

1book 1community unites Loudoun County readers

LEESBURG — Inside Out and Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, is Loudoun County Public Library’s 2017 title for 1book 1community, a countywide program that promotes community dialogue and understanding through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.

Thousands of free copies are now available at all LCPL branches and unlimited eBook copies can be downloaded from OverDrive at lcpl.overdrive.com through Nov. 30. 

Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again, a New York Times No. 1 bestseller, was inspired by the author’s experiences of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon. 

Readers can meet Lai at 7 p.m. Nov. 8 at Briar Woods High School in Ashburn. Lai will discuss her work, answer questions and sign copies of her book. A Q&A session will be conducted by Chuong Nguyen, the LCPL Board of Trustees representative for the Dulles District, who, like Lai, fled communist Vietnam as a child with his family in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The program is free and open to the public. 

Lai is donating her entire speaking fee to her nonprofit, Viet Kids, which buys bicycles for low-income students in Vietnam who otherwise would have to walk two hours each way to school.

Prior to Lai’s visit, readers can discuss Inside Out and Back Again at numerous book clubs at LCPL branches through November. 

Inside Out and Back Again is Lai’s debut novel. Through a series of short free-verse poems, a young girl recounts the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama. The novel — a winner of the National Book Award — has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration. 

“This year’s 1book is a sweet, at times funny, and very relatable story,” said Chang Liu, LCPL director. “Anyone who has ever struggled with family loss or the insecurity of feeling different can identify with it. I encourage everyone to read and discuss it, and join us for the author’s presentation.”

1book 1community is made possible by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund.


Previous 1book 1community titles and authors:

2016: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

2015: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

2014: Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

2013: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

2012: When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka

2011: Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

2010: Bicycles: Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni

2009: The Wall: Growing Up Behing the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

2008:  Nothing But the Truth by Avi

2007:  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

2006:  The Giver by Lois Lowry

2005:  Witness by Karen Hesse

2004: The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

A countywide reading program that promotes community dialogue and understanding through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.

Sponsored by the Irwin Uran Gift Fund