Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Hi everyone, if you enjoyed Lucky Broken Girl as much as I did then you would love this additional read!! Set in a similar time period but this time our young heroine is from another country with a different set of parents. The experience they tell of their lives resonated with me in many ways and I truly enjoyed reading this!! I hope you have a similar experience!!

Front desk in large orange and yellow letters standing behind them young girl with dark hair and red spotted tshirt and jeans on red phone clock and keys behind plant and calendar to her right blue cap and tip jar on right phone base on left bags on floor in front of girl
An enjoyable story

Title: Front Desk

Author: Kelly Yang

Genre: Fiction – historical

Publication details: Arthur A. Levine Books; NY, 2018

ISBN: 9781338157796

What this book is about: Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Firstly: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Everyday while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tend to the guests. Secondly: 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 Tang’s will be doomed. And finally: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom things 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?

My review: A gorgeous story of identity and new beginnings. I really like stories like these as I’m an immigrant myself. Although we didn’t struggle as much, that feeling of always needing to remind yourself of where you belong never leaves. An exceptionally well written story. I really loved Yang’s use of descriptive language. The school scenes especially helped the whole story progress. I also liked the fact that it was loosely based on the author’s own life. Recommended for slightly older kids as some themes seemed slightly attuned for older tween readers.

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional notes: Front Desk has won the Asian/Pacific Award for Literature for Children’s Literature in 2019 and was nominated for the GoodReads Choice Award for Middle Grade and Children’s Fiction in 2018. Kelly Yang will also be publishing a sequel titled “Three Keys” in September 2020. 

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