The Newbery honor book Inside Out and Back Again (HarperCollins, 2011) by Thanhha Lai is written in verse snapshots. Here's a brief summary of the story:
It's 1975, 10 year old Hà, her mother and 3 older brothers must leave Saigon, Vietnam. Schools were closed a month early, the president has resigned, the communists are coming. They pack up and head for the Navy ships to escape. They end up on the island of Guam and then in Alabama.
Thanhha brings Hà and her family to life. I love the line: "It's hard to be grateful when you feel stupid because you don't know the language."