Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Front Desk

Front Desk tells the story of 10-year-old Mia Tang. Every day, Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel while her parents clean the rooms. She’s proud of her job. She loves the guests and treats them like family. When one of the guests gets into trouble with the police, it shakes Mia to her core. Her parents, meanwhile, hide immigrants in the empty rooms at night. If the mean motel owner Mr. Yao finds out, they’ll be doomed!Based on ...

Details Front Desk

TitleFront Desk
Release DateMay 29th, 2018
PublisherScholastic/Arthur A. Levine
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Fiction

Reviews Front Desk

  • Fafa's Book Corner
    Mini review:GR Ultimate Summer Reading Challenge: Diversify Yourself.Trigger warning: Racism, a break-in (wherein a character gets injured), and bullying.I heard about Front Desk through Twitter. The cover caught my attention as did the synopsis. I'm happy to say that I enjoyed reading this!I'm honestly so surprised Front Desk isn't more popular. This is such an important book especially for immigrant families. Front Desk takes place in 1990 foll...
  • Donalyn
    Much deeper and complex than the playful cover indicates. A wonderful story about immigrants, poverty, and family.
  • Kate Olson
    Thanks to @kidlitexchange for this review copy ~ all opinions are my own!Hands-down one of my favorite middle grade titles of 2018, FRONT DESK is a spectacular and accessible glimpse into the life a 5th grade girl named Mia who lives in a motel that her parents manage. It is also a glimpse into the life of many Chinese immigrants in the US in the 1980s and early 1990s, as detailed in the author's note. The book draws heavily on the childhood expe...
  • CW (Read Think Ponder)
    Front Desk is a book that means a lot to me. More importantly, I believe that Front Desk will be a book that will mean a lot to others - immigrants of all ages, children, adults, parents. - The story is so full of heart. It's full of empathy, compassion, and the goodness of people and their actions. For this reason, I think Front Desk is an excellent book for children. - The story, too, is full of tough lessons about the world. It addresses and e...
  • Ms. Yingling
    ARC provided by the publisherIt's the early 1990s, and Mia and her parents have moved to California from China in search of more freedom and opportunities. Unfortunately, they are not able to get the same sort of professional jobs they had in China, and work at a Chinese restaurant until Mia's help turns disastrous! They eventually find a hotel in Anaheim in need of managers, and are happy that they won't have to pay all of their salary for rent....
  • Lou (BooksAreAWayOfLife)
    THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I absolutely loved it. This book was everything that I was expecting it to be and more. I have a lot of books on my to be read pile of probably 400+ books, but within 24 hours of the book arriving in my house, I had read it. That is amazing for a reader like me. So Front Desk is a middle grade book that tackles so many important topics in such a good way. It deals with topics like racism, but not only to Asians, but to Black...
  • Danielle
    Wow. This book. It tackles injustices for immigrants, and other communities, and I really admire the way Kelly Yang created that overlap and connection. The story is centered around Mia, a young girl working with her parents' at a motel near Disneyland who discovers that her writing has the power to fight injustice for herself and those around her that she cares about. A true and unflinching yet very hopeful, optimistic story sure to buoy and ins...
  • Laura (bbliophile)
    I stayed up way too late to finish this book but I have no regrets because I loved it so, so much
  • Laura Gardner
    5/5 for FRONT DESK by @kellyyanghk; thanks to @scholasticbooks for the ARC to review...all opinions are my own. I'll be sharing this with @theloudlibrarylady and @kidlitexchange next!_*_*_*_*_*Mia Tang is a recent immigrant to the United States from China in the 1980s. Her parents and she manage a motel; Mia works the front ten years old. Her parents hide immigrants who need a place to stay in extra rooms in the motel, but at great pers...
  • Jen Petro-Roy
    Absolutely spectacular. This is a must-read and such a vivid window into the life of new immigrants and those struggling with money. I love the voice in this one, and the supporting characters are so great.
  • Melanie
    I first heard about this middle grade debut many months ago, and FRONT DESK has remained on my radar since then thanks to incredible reviews and word of mouth, all of which are solidly earned by the novel. I was invested in Mia's story from page one. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen to her and her Chinese immigrant family as they struggled to make ends meet as managers of a motel while the whole world seemed to be against them--excep...
  • Amanda Rawson Hill
    This book is so good and one that everyone should read. Kids and adults alike.
  • Jillian Heise
    So full of heart and love. With messages of acceptance and perseverance and community, this is a story that is so needed today. This middle grade is a must-add to classroom and school libraries.
  • Laura Harrison
    Disregard the cute but fluff cover art. This is a serious Newbery contender for 2019. Better yet, children will love it!
  • Tracy
    Thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange for sharing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.FRONT DESK is loosely based on author Kelly Yang’s life experience, as explained in an author’s note at the end of the book.Her straightforward writing makes this book perfect for younger middle grade readers (Mia is 10). Yet Yang tackles difficult issues like interpersonal, systemic, and institutional racism. She writes so simply and honestly, it...
  • Abby Johnson
    An engaging story with a protagonist that kids will love to root for and also an important story about immigration experiences in this country told in a really kid-friendly way. Hand this to every tween you know.
  • Denise
    Oh my lord! This book was perhaps one of my favorites that I've read in a long time. Mia's story of being a Chinese immigrant and the struggle of getting your feet on the ground was so beautifully told. Mia, Lupe, and the Weeklies captured my heart and I loved Mia's bravery and ability to use her words to help others.I will for sure be sharing this book with as many students as I can!!I received a copy of this book from Scholastic to review.
  • Afoma Umesi
    I finished this cute book on Thursday night and I loved it! Mia Tang is a ten year old Chinese immigrant who lives in a motel with her parents. They run the motel for it’s crooked owner, Mr Yao. Mia runs the front desk and enjoys it.The good: Mia is such a diligent, smart and kind girl. She has a big heart and is not afraid to do hard work. I enjoyed watching her gain confidence in her writing despite being repeatedly told to stick to math by m...
  • Neha Thakkar
    Thanks to the Anderson's Bookshop for sharing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.This summed up a lot of immigrant experiences for me and I loved Mia’s voice, letters, “edits”, and the fact that she used a dictionary and thesaurus to improve her writing! I loved the writing and the story behind it (about wanting to share the author's experiences with her son). I already have some kids in mind who maybe feel like the “othe...
  • Kathie
    ALL the stars, and easily one of my very favorite books of the year!!!! .FRONT DESK is highly deserving of every positive review. It’s an eye opening book that will warm your heart one minute, and have you shaking your head in frustration the next. I can’t remember the last time I experienced so many emotions, and felt like I really comprehended what it can be like for an immigrant family in America. You definitely need to make time to read t...
  • Barb
    I loved this book about a strong girl who immigrated from China with her family to California. She faces racism and cruelty but powers through with kindness and her gift of writing.
  • Sarah
    A semi-autobiographical account of a bright young girl and her hard-working parents attempting to make a life for themselves in Southern California after leaving their home in China. Hindered to some degree by the language barrier and, more so by naivety, head-strong Mia Tang's parents eagerly sign the paperwork to become motel managers for the money-hungry owner. When the rules continually change, the family, so desperate to keep their job acqui...
  • John Chew
    This debut novel by writer Kelly Yang is an engrossing, and highly readable novel about a young girl working and living through difficult situations will resonant with immigrants, and in particular immigrants to the United States from China. The story of a young, spunky, and intelligent protagonist winning the day through courage, and verve is timeless. What made this story emotionally compelling and real for me were the exchanges between Mia and...
  • Christina Carter
    I live in the City of Buffalo. The Queen City. Nestled in the Western region of New York State, with a sizeable immigrant and refugee population. We have people from many different countries. It's a city brimming with diversity and I love it! There's so much we can learn from one another if we are willing. Relationship is key. It amazes me that when we get the chance to know someone better, we find that there is room to celebrate those things tha...
  • Nikki
    This book is so fantastic! It's about hard work, family, friendship, being true to yourself and treating people with respect. It's also about immigration and life and struggles for children who find themselves in a new country. I cannot believe how much of the story is based in reality. I wish I had been reading this aloud to my almost 7 yr old. We didn't get this one in a reading crate (I think I found it on a goodreads "what people have read" e...
  • Aliza Werner
    More than five stars to this incredible semi-autobiographical story of an immigrant family working their hardest to achieve their vision of the American dream. Mia never takes no for an answer as her courage leads the way in fighting for what's fair and kind. This story will stick with me for a long time.
  • Renata
    This book is so big-hearted and great and just such a good boooook. Mia's such a great character to root for. A must-read. I can't say more, I'm tearing up again just thinking about it.
  • Clare Lund
    This just may be my favorite book of the summer. Mia and her parents are Chinese immigrants who came to America with only $200 in their pockets. They accept a job managing a motel for a horrible man who constantly exploits them, but Mia is strong and earnest and learns how to use the power of language to persuade. This book is about fighting oppression with empathy, optimism, and a strongly worded letter. Cannot recommend enough for ages 8 and up...
  • Mylinh
    This is a great YA read. Both of my kids (8 and 10) were enthralled with it. Mia is smart, sassy, and sweet, and the stories talk about the realities of the immigrant experience, but not so grim that it would be too much for kids. We need more of these kind of stories for kids—and adults!