Kelly Yang
Front Desk

Front Desk

I recommended this effervescent middle grade novel to Gina House in WSIRN Episode 261: Huggable comfort reads for a cozy reading season. Ten-year-old Mia Tang spends most of her after school hours managing the front desk of a motel, where her family lives and works. The Tang family isn’t just cleaning the rooms… they’re also sneaking in other immigrant families and allowing them to stay in empty rooms for free. If Mr. Yao, the owner, finds out about this secret, it spells trouble for everyone. If Mia’s mom finds out about her secret, will it also mean trouble for Mia? While the characters deal with hard things, Yang grounds her story in love, friendship, and hope. In the last few years, parents challenged Front Desk, objecting to its depictions of race. This resulted in multiple school curriculum and read-aloud bans.

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