Front Desk

By Kelly Yang,

Book cover of Front Desk

Book description

Four starred reviews and over ten best-of-year lists!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Winner of the Asian / Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!* "Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred…


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Why read it?

3 authors picked Front Desk as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This is a fantastic book about the hardships many immigrants face, from being taken advantage of by their employers, to language barriers, and of course, racism. What I loved about this book is its portrayal of community. Growing up poor, I know that it’s often those with nothing who give the most. Kids will cheer for Mia as she works the front desk, helps those around her, and stands up to injustice.

Based on Yang’s own experience as a child in an immigrant family who came to California from China, spunky ten-year-old Mia Tang works alongside her parents at the Calivista Motel near Disneyland. But this isn’t simply a fun adventure story; it’s also the story about the daily challenges of poverty, racism, and discrimination faced by Mia, her family, and the various guests at the Calivista, including some immigrants hiding at the motel unbeknownst to the unsympathetic owner. I loved Mia’s spunk and determination to fight for what she believed in. Inspiring!

From Tziporah's list on middle grade set in motels and hotels.

I love when an author can make me cry and cheer in equal measure.

From Rebecca's list on good allyship.

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