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

  • 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...
  • Donalyn
    Much deeper and complex than the playful cover indicates. A wonderful story about immigrants, poverty, and family.
  • 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....
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Cindy
    This book was phenomenal—completely worth the buzz it's getting! Kelly Yang writes with such engaging prose, managing to take incredibly difficult topics and turn them into something positive and even laugh-out-loud funny. Mia is a spunky, heartfelt heroine who you can't help rooting for. The author's note at the end had me in tears. FRONT DESK is an absolute must-read!
  • Debbi Florence
    This story broke my heart and put the pieces back together again. An amazing and touching book! I rooted for Mia the entire time!
  • 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...
  • Laurie
    Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 5.3Imagine that you go to a new country to better yourself and your family. Now, imagine that when you get there everything you have heard is false and things are much worse. This is what happened to 10-year-old Mia and her family. Mia's parents told her that going to America would be an amazing place where she would have a house, a dog, and all the hamburgers that she wanted. Their reality was completely diffe...
  • Kristin Crouch
    Thank you to @kellyyang for providing #collabookation an ARC of Front Desk to share. Mia Tang immigrated to America from China during the 90s, a time when many people were leaving China with dreams of freedom and prosperity they thought could never be realized in their homeland. Mia dismantles the idealistic view of America instantly. Front Desk describes the tough jobs most immigrants must hold. Jobs with low wages, unfair (sometimes illegal) bo...
  • Jamie
    Loosely autobiographical--the author herself lived with her parents in the motel they ran, for very little money, in the mid-90s when this novel is set. (There is a timeless feel--kids will still identify with having to wear strange flowered pants from Goodwill instead of jeans.) I love the tension between Mia's pride in her work and her wish that she had a more "normal" American childhood, with a dog and a house and no one's bed in the living ro...
  • Jenn
    Based in part on the author’s own real life experiences as a child, this is a often funny, often sobering look into the lives of new immigrants to the United States in the early 70s and 80s. Mia’s family and their struggles to not only survive but to try to get ahead are all-too familiar, and force readers to consider prejudice and how new immigrants are treated even today. Kelly Yang is an important voice for middle grade fiction and this bo...
  • Katie Reilley
    Absolutely LOVED this book!Ten year old Mia and her parents are Chinese immigrants who have been hired to manage a motel in California. Mia’s a kind and hard-working kid who wants to help her family and friends any way she can. The story tells of Mia’s experiences as an immigrant child while helping her parents by running the motel’s front desk.With lessons on courage, determination, and what it means to be part of a community, this book wi...
  • 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...
  • Lara Samuels
    Five stars really aren’t enough for this book! Front Desk is a beautifully crafted story from the heart. I not only consider this a must buy book but a multiple copy purchase for libraries and classroom libraries. It would be a remarkable read aloud. The well developed characters face real world challenges in a kid friendly way. The potential discussions during and after reading this book make me glad to be a book lover. Front Desk is a treasur...
  • Michele Knott
    Absolutely loved this story. Equal parts touching, funny and it will get you mad! This immigration story about being hard working, never giving up - even when things are so unfair - is so needed right now.
  • Alison
    ahhhh this book was SOOOOOO GOOD I can't wait to buy it for the library!
  • Jill Guccini
    I loved this so, so, so much. Mia Tang is a force to be reckoned with. Can’t wait to buy this for my library!