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Front Desk

Written by: Kelly Yang
Narrated by: Sunny Lu
Series: Front Desk, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature!

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number one: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, 10-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number two: 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 three: 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?

©2018 Kelly Yang (P)2018 Listening Library

What the critics say

"Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

What listeners say about Front Desk

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

played it for my class

This book is great! I played it for my grade 6 class. certainly some parts we had to talk about. some stronger racial language and one violent scene. I would recommend an even older age group or make sure young readers are a little bit more mature for some of this content. The book generated some great discussions and went well with our elections unit. this is a really great book and worth a read!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R in Oak Park
  • 2019-10-12

Expands Compassion & Understanding (Kids&Adults!)

I've never written a book review before, but have been so touched by Kelly Tang's artful, instructive novel, I feel compelled to encourage everyone to listen to or read this book. It is awesome! My 9-year old daughter chose this book for a family listen on a 4 hour road trip. She liked the "kid in charge" concept on the cover. The novel does not disappoint! This kid-centric book offers something for the whole family, including teenagers & grandparents. You will laugh, smile, cheer and cry for the intrepid, resourceful young heroine, Mia, as she maneuvers through typical childhood dilemmas while simultaneously forced to navigate the harsh realities of poor migrant families trying to build a new life in America. Every age will hear a different, thought provoking story. My daughter was enthralled by the themes of friendship, deep family love and the mini-primer on social justice - yes, kids can make a difference too! The adults hear the story of Mia's parents and their friends, which are moving, heartbreaking and underscore the power of light in darkness (and makes one wonder about missed opportunities to be a needed light!) We were so enthralled with the book that we listened non-stop when we got home - stealing little chunks of time wherever we could to listen as a family. The author's note at the end is eye-opening & convicting. Kelly Yang - Your book plants seeds of love that will blossom as your readers encounter daily situations that require a deeper understanding and appreciation for what is happening with a fellow human trying to navigate a culture different than his or her family's or a fellow human trapped within the biases of culture. This book could not be more timely. Kelly, thank you for showing us all, adults and children, ways to shine a little brighter.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle customer
  • 2019-05-21

Truth stories

I love hearing true stories. I especially appreciated the epilogue and the reflections/council of the author.

6 people found this helpful

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  • IYW
  • 2019-07-22

wonderful!

tremendous story and narration. an important story for now and for the future. highly recommend

4 people found this helpful

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  • Miya
  • 2019-03-04

AMAZING!!!!

This book is amazing and I'm on chapter 15 but I can't wait to read more and get to the end I highly recommend getting this book

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anne Macdonell
  • 2018-12-07

This book is a winner. Don’t miss it!

This is a very very special book with the perfect narration to match the story. A book for our times. Funny, sad, joyful. For all ages from 5th grade to adults.

3 people found this helpful

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  • ACA
  • 2018-12-14

Terrific Middle Grade

Loved this story. The main character is so vibrant and tirelessly fights against personal and societal injustices. There were some parts of the story that blew me away - “you are/are mnot a bike” is probably the most memorable one. There were one or two subplots that felt slightly unbelievable but I suspended disbelief because Mia was such an indomitable character. The reader of the story did a wonderful job. I particularly loved hearing the Chinese American accents and Mia’s voice was great as a middle schooler

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine
  • 2020-09-30

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-09-27

Great Book!

We loved this book. Brought up some great discussions. Looking forward to listening to the sequel.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-08-25

The best book!!

I love this book a lot. It talks about family hardships and it's very fun to listen to! I love how the person reading this book makes you feel like your actually going on a journey, and seeing the characters for real. So for me I overall love this book.

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  • A T
  • 2020-08-06

Entertaining

My daughter and I listened to this on a roadtrip and was so entertaining. We almost finished before we got home. We had to finish, and was so glad we did. The moral of the story was great, and also our motto to be inclusive, not exclusive.