Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets: Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: 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 Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks 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?
Praise for Front Desk:
"Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages."
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This book will help foster empathy for the immigrant experience for young readers, while for immigrant children, it is a much-needed and validating mirror….Deserving of shelf space in every classroom and library."
—Booklist, starred review
"Reminiscent of the television series Fresh Off the Boat, this title is an honest account of the ups and downs of immigrant life in America in the early 1990s."
—Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review
"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, starred review