Front Desk

Front Desk

Book - 2018
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Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781338157796
Branch Call Number: J FIC YANG K


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IndyPL_JosephL Feb 28, 2019

A roller coaster of thoughts, feelings, and hard truths regarding the nature of both exclusion and inclusion within American society. Told through the perspective of a young girl whose family has only recently immigrated to America from China, we are given a tale that is one part heartwarming and two parts distressing. Through Mia, we see racial prejudiced, violence, and abuse toward any many kinds directed at people of varying colors. Hard to swallow at times, the book talks so frankly in some cases that it sounds impossible. Yet, as the author mentions in her afterward, many of the things Mia and her family go through are grounded in her own struggles and experiences, making it something that needs to be read no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

IndyPL_ShellieR Jan 23, 2019

It was hard to watch the struggles of this kid and her family and friends but it's impossible not to care about them. It's a book that talks about important things in a totally organic way and that is a rare treat - like tasty health food!

Jan 10, 2019

Front Desk is a sweet, simple, heartfelt middle-grade novel -- on the surface. It also touches on insecurities of many kinds (including financial and social), prejudice, violence, predatory lending practices, and plenty of other subjects that might otherwise be considered "grown-up stuff" only.

It has such a strong family at its core, though, that even these hard topics are dealt with gracefully and in age-appropriate ways. There are powerful positive messages, too, about looking out for each other, sharing what we've got, and not judging based on appearances.

But more than that, it has a great story about a kid named Mia who is SO EXCITED to be running a motel and helping out her family. It's awesome.

Give to any middle grade kid (or adult!) who wants to see what it's REALLY like to run a motel...and how believing the best of people leads to great things.

JCLShannonG Jan 08, 2019

I was impressed with how the author expertly portrayed racism, poverty, and immigration from a 10 year-old's point of view. These difficult subjects are sometimes hard to talk about, but Yang did so in a way that connects with young readers. I really enjoyed this one.

Dec 29, 2018

Mia Tang is in the fifth grade. As noted in the Goodreads description she has some secrets. We read her story and find that she has experienced much more than many of us can imagine at the age of nine. Her resourcefulness and empathy are an inspiration. What is most fascinating is that the author writes from experiences she had helping her immigrant parents as she was growing up. This book is brilliant and would be a wonderful read aloud for 4th - 6th grade students. A worthy contender for the Newbery!

OPL_KrisC Nov 27, 2018

The story of a young immigrant girl whose parents end up running a hotel. This book is much deeper than the cover or the description would lead you to believe.

Nov 15, 2018

Mia has such great tenacity in this book and really shows that you can do anything you set your mind to. This is a great book about immigration and showing that if we include everyone, the community is stronger for it.

JCLHebahA Jul 30, 2018

Cute story. The earlier half was a bit jerky in the plotting for me, but it ends on a lovely, heartfelt note, not the least of which was the afterword that explained Mia's story was inspired by the author's own experiences.

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OPL_KrisC Nov 27, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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