Front Desk - Kelly Yang

Front Desk

By: Kelly Yang

Paperback | 1 August 2018

At a Glance



Aims to ship in 7 to 10 business days

An empowering story of empathy, courage, and hope, based on the author's real-life experience immigrating to the US as a child and working at the front desk of the motel where her parents work.

Ten year-old Mia Tang moved to the US for a better life, a freer life, but so far, it's a life where she runs the front desk of a motel while her parents clean rooms. And she's not even allowed to use the swimming pool. Based on author Kelly Yang’s real-life experience immigrating to America from China and running a motel with her parents, this novel explores how one little girl overcomes language barriers, discrimination and her own lack of confidence to find her voice – and use it to make a difference. This is a sensitive story of tolerance and diversity that will resonate with readers of all cultures who have experienced the challenges of feeling like an outsider.
  • Like Wonder, Because of Winn-Dixie and Counting by Sevens, this is the kind of story that inspires empathy and has the power to give readers a new perspective.
  • This immigration story, based on the author's life experience, will appeal to first-generation Australians, their classmates, and anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.
  • An antidote to all of the hate in the news, this book champions a message of kindness.

About the Author

Kelly Yang is an American citizen living and working in Hong Kong. She went to University of California at Berkeley at age 13, graduated at 17, and completed Harvard Law by age 20. She's now a columnist for the South China Morning Post and has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, and She is also the founder and director of The Kelly Yang Project, a leading writing and debate center in Asia. She's been on the BBC, CNN, Huffington Post, and more, to discuss education and learning. Her YouTube channel hosts an extraordinary global issues show for teens. Launched just in January, the episodes have been hitting upwards of 25,000 views each on Facebook.
Industry Reviews
This is an astounding and entertaining read sometimes defying belief because it is so heartbreakingly true. -- Dimity Powell * Boomerang Books *
This was a well-written and easy to read novel that really focused on Mia's journey growing up, and facing and overcoming tough issues for a ten-year-old. And while Kelly Yang did not shy away from expressing the harsh truths of discrimination, she balanced it out with heartwarming moments that made the story flow smoothly. * ReadPlus *
Deserving of shelf space in every classroom and library. * Booklist *
With bittersweet information on Chinese immigration to America added in an author's note, this book captures many important themes to explore individually or in the classroom. * Kirkus *

FRONT DESK is infused with dark truths about America and still manages to be light, heartwarming, and fast-paced.
The book ends on a hopeful note, with the Tangs' community surrounding them to help them take the first step off the poverty rollercoaster. The solution they come up with has a chance at helping others get off, too.

* Lu & Bean Read *
...there is much satisfaction in this book's powerful and heart-wrenching close. * BCCB *
A swiftly moving plot and a winsome protagonist make this a first purchase for any collection, especially where realistic fiction is in demand * School Library Journal *

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