Kelly Yang’s debut book, Front Desk (Arthur A. Levine, 2018), launched a very promising career. In this #ownvoices story, Yang pulled from her own childhood to create the story of young Mia Tang, a 5th grader who works the front desk in a motel her parents manage. The charming story engages readers through the ins and outs of Mia’s friendships, schooling and work in the motel as well as her growing social awareness. A sequel to the book, Three Keys (Scholastic) is planned to be released in September. Yang will also release Parachutes (Katherine Tegen Books) later this month.
“Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages” ~Kirkus, starred review
“Believing that “sometimes, you have to… be creative to get what you want,” and flouting her mother’s repeated assertion that Mia’s English will never be as proficient as native-born Americans’, she writes letters—creatively forged—to aid others, including an African-American victimized by racial profiling and a Chinese immigrant abused by his boss. Mia’s story is one of indefatigable hope and of triumph over injustice, and her voice is genuine and inspiring.” ~Publishers Weekly
“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.
2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature
Parents’ Choice Gold Medal
2019 Global Read Aloud
an Amazon Best Book of the Year
a Washington Post Best Book of the Year
a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
a NPR Best Book of the Year
a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year
Ernesto Cisnersos selected to read from Front Desk. He is a 20-year veteran reading and writing teacher currently serving intermediate grade students in Santa Ana – California’s vibrant but, dismissed section of Orange County. Cisneros holds an English degree from the University of California, Irvine; a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach; as well as a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University. He just releases Efren Divided (Quill Tree Books) in March.