Inside Out and Back Again

by

Thanhhà Lai

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Inside Out and Back Again can help.

SSsì-Ti-Vân/Steven Character Analysis

SSsì-Ti-Vân is one of ’s first friends in Alabama. His name is Steven, but to Hà, the name sounds like SSsì-Ti-Vân, so this is what she calls him in her narration going forward. He has “coconut-shell skin” and a smooth, bald head, and he’s always dressed in fancy clothes. He’s kind to Hà and helps Pem try to keep Pink Boy from beating Hà up.
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SSsì-Ti-Vân/Steven Character Timeline in Inside Out and Back Again

The timeline below shows where the character SSsì-Ti-Vân/Steven appears in Inside Out and Back Again. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3: Alabama
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...like “Pem.” The boy has “coconut-shell skin” and is dressed fancily. He introduces himself as Steven, which sounds like SSsì-Ti-Vân. Hà hasn’t seen these two in class, but she does mostly... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...and works it out quickly. She smiles—until she sees the horrified looks from Pem and SSsì-Ti-Vân. Pink Boy’s pink face is now bright red. MiSSS SScott pushes Hà back toward her... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
...bright barrettes out of their hair and twist Hà’s hair into braids. Since Pem and SSsì-Ti-Vân nod, Hà holds still. As Hà walks home later, her shadow looks like she has... (full context)
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...Face. Today, Pem is wearing a long skirt that looks like a pioneer woman’s skirt. SSsì-Ti-Vân is wearing a beard—apparently today is “pretend day.” Pink Boy keeps asking Hà what she... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...and switches coats with Pem. Pem takes Hà’s usual path while Hà turns left, and SSsì-Ti-Vân blocks the door. Hà runs as fast as she can. She’s all alone—the boys must... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
...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. Girls hope that... (full context)
Part 4: From Now On
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Culture, Food, and Tradition Theme Icon
Bullying, Racism, and Self-Doubt Theme Icon
...wears when Pem can’t cut her hair or wear skirts that hit above her calves. SSsì-Ti-Vân says it looks like a dress. But the girl in red velvet points to the... (full context)