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Front Desk By Kelly Yang

Teacher Thoughts…

Meet Mia Tang. Mia and her family have come from China to America for a new life.  Mia is ten years old and manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel in California. She is a girl with a kind heart and big dreams. This book is filled with many characters and stories that will warm your heart.

As soon as this book was started as a read aloud in class I watched a 5th grade student instantly connect with Mia and her hard life. I had an extra book so I gave it to Mandy so that she had her own copy.  Since reading Front Desk Mandy is never far from her own copy which now wears a tattered cover- a sure sign of a well- loved book.

Why use this book?

  • Excellent read aloud for the intermediate grades
  • Diverse characters
  • Themes of hope, tolerance, and kindness


Kids Said…

  • “This is the first book that I read that has characters like me. I am Chinese American. Mia has hard stuff in her life but she always makes the best of it. She has problems but deals with them. Her family is not rich. Mia has to work hard but is creative in what she can do even when bad things happen. To me it’s a book about never losing hope.”– 5th Grade Student, Mandy
  • “It’s a book of unexpected friendships.”- 4th Grade Student, Maria
  • “It’s an interesting book because it has multiple stories going on at the same time.”- 4th Grade Student, Max

1 thought on “Front Desk By Kelly Yang”

  1. A must read for intermediate and middle classrooms. Containing many prevalent social issues, this book would be a wonderful choice for social justice or character development literacy units. Loosely based on the author’s own experiences, this book draws us into a particular time and place, setting being so strong in the drive of the narrative. This book is also a Global Read Aloud selection this fall. Read more here.

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