Posted in Book Reviews, Reading, Words

Book Review: Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Ages 9+
My Rating: ★★★★★

I recently read Front Desk by Kelly Yang and it has become one of my favorite books. It has an interesting plot and is quite simple with its words but very well-written nevertheless.

Ten-year-old Mia Tang and her parents are immigrants from China. They get a job to manage a motel, but Mia is usually the one working at the front desk. She makes friends there (Guadalupe, her friend at school, and Hank, a “weeklie” who pays by the week lives at the motel), but the owner of the motel, Mr. Yao, is cruel and racist, and on top of this they have to hide from him the fact that they are letting other immigrants stay for free. Later, Mia enters an essay competition to win a different motel, hoping she’ll win so that her family can own the motel without Mr. Yao.

This book is cleverly designed and has an ending that I did not see coming. It angered me a lot (especially in conversations with Mr. Yao) but still had a happy ending. I would recommend this book to others in a heartbeat. In fact, if you have read some of my Vaughan Museum stories, the inspiration for it came from this — a girl who is living in an obscure place for complicated reasons, and experiences many interesting things there.

If you are looking for something to read, especially something simple but interesting, I suggest you read Front Desk. Although it may be for younger kids, it still is a meaningful and altogether good book.


A teenager obsessed with words of all kinds. When I’m not reading or writing, I like musical theater, drawing, and painting. (she/her)

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Front Desk by Kelly Yang

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