By Kelly Yang
Arthur A. Levine Books 2018 – 304 Pages – Genre: Realistic Fiction
Review by NMS Student A.W. with publisher’s description
Front Desk by Kelly Yang is about a young Chinese girl named Mia who immigrated to America. Her family came here with only 200 dollars. Her mom and dad are very hard workers. They see a spot in the newspaper about managing a motel in California. They take the opportunity, but realize the person who owns the motel is a very mean and wealthy person. He will not give the family as much money as he should. At first when they agreed on a salary Mia’s family was very happy about it. Then he started to lower the salary to where he would get more money. The owner will not let them spend money to upgrade the motel. The family is having to work very hard. At school Mia has found a friend. Both she and her friend are poor and they get bullied sometimes. Mia is one of two Chinese kids in the school. The other Chinese kid also makes fun of her. It is ok though because she has a really good friend. She saw an ad online about entering a contest to win a motel. You have to write a response to what you would do if you had a motel. The only problem is it cost 300 dollars to enter and she is not a very good writer. Read Front Desk to find out what happens to Mia. – A.W., a NMS Student
Publisher’s description – Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year, Asian / Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature, Parents’ Choice Gold Medal Fiction Award Winner, NPR Best Books of the Year
Available through SORA as an audiobook and an e-book.