Pem is one of Hà’s first two friends in Alabama. Though she introduces herself as Pam, Hà hears “Pem,” and so calls her friend Pem in her narration. She’s in Hà’s class and has long red hair and has to wear skirts that reach to her calves. Pem smiles a lot, helps Hà navigate the social structure at school, and tries to help Hà avoid being beaten up by Pink Boy. For Christmas, Pem gives Hà a beautiful doll with long black hair. Hà is embarrassed not to have a gift to give to Pem in return, so a few weeks after Christmas, Mother gives Hà some flower seeds that Hà and TiTi collected to give to Pem.
Pem/Pam Quotes in Inside Out and Back Again
The Inside Out and Back Again quotes below are all either spoken by Pem/Pam or refer to Pem/Pam. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper edition of Inside Out and Back Again published in 2011.).
Pem/Pam Character Timeline in Inside Out and Back Again
The timeline below shows where the character Pem/Pam appears in Inside Out and Back Again. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3: Alabama
...Now, Vu Lee always picks Hà up after school. This means that people always want Pem, Hà, and SSsì-Ti-Vân to sit with them at lunch, and they’re constantly getting party invitations.... (full context)
Part 4: From Now On
...Mother laugh. Hà admits that it’s far more embarrassing to not have anything to give Pem for Christmas. Thoughtfully, Mother goes to her drawer and pulls something out. She says she... (full context)