Staff Review: "Front Desk"
Mia Tang's family has just arrived in America from China for hopes of a better life. Mia is a 10-year-old who dreams of being a writer. After arriving in America, the family is thrilled when they find work at the Calivista Motel for Mr. Yao. While Mia is at school, her parents clean rooms at the Calivista. When she's not in school, Mia is working the front desk at the motel and tending to guests. While Mr. Yao seemed okay at first, the Yang's begin to see that he is a bad person. Mia's parents risk their jobs by helping those in need: they hide immigrants and let them stay in empty rooms at no charge behind Mr. Yao's back. If Mr. Yao finds out, the family will be in big trouble. Mia uses her courage, empathy, and kind spirit to make it through this first year in America and help others in need. Set in the 1990s, Kelly Yang draws from her experiences as an immigrant child to create this wonderful story full of hope, courage, and kindness. Recommended for tweens who enjoy contemporary realistic fiction and families looking to read a chapter book together.