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Kelly Yang

Author of Front Desk

14 Works 2,756 Members 121 Reviews


Works by Kelly Yang

Front Desk (2018) 1,357 copies
Three Keys (2020) 376 copies
Room to Dream (2021) 265 copies
Parachutes (2020) 220 copies
New from Here (2022) 170 copies
Finally Seen (2023) 114 copies
Key Player (Front Desk #4) (2022) 86 copies
Private Label (2022) 59 copies
Top Story (Front Desk #5) (2023) 34 copies
Finally Heard (2024) 4 copies
Spadochrony (2023) 1 copy
Motel Calvista (2022) 1 copy


Common Knowledge



Really liked this! Will be recommending it.
AnnesLibrary | 59 other reviews | Jan 28, 2024 |
I could not get into this. It felt very long, predictable, and slow to me. Maybe the pandemic experience is still too recent to make reading about it tolerable.

I think children interested in reading about the pandemic experiences of others may like it. But I think it's not half as good as Front Desk.
LibrarianDest | 7 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
Very, very close to being a five-star book for me, but there was something about the ending that my adult mind could not accept. First, that Mia managed to raise so much money so quickly from so many people was unbelievable. Second, the logistics of all those people investing in the hotel and co-owning it boggles my mind. When I think hard about it, though, it's pretty much an analog
Kickstarter/GoFundMe situation, so I don't know why I can't accept it. I suppose it just didn't feel real to me. It felt too good to be true, maybe too much like the ending of It's a Wonderful Life.

This is a children's book, though, and I wonder how many kids will find the ending unbelievable. It is super satisfying in a book filled with so much unfairness. You want Mia and her family and friends to succeed because they've had to put up with so much hardship and cruelty.

With the exception of the ending, I liked everything about this book. Especially:

1. The celebration of writing, especially thank you notes. Didn't this book make you want to write a thank you note to someone who's helped you? Mia uses writing to make connections with people who otherwise might just pass out of her life. She also uses writing to give herself power she wouldn't have otherwise (because she can write with authority). I love that her treasured possession is a pencil because it shows the reader how important writing is to her.

2. The relationships between the characters are realistically complex. Mia's relationships with Lupe, Jason, and her mom evolved as Mia got more information about each of them. This points to well drawn characters, thoughtful backstories, and rich interactions between the characters. Even the villain Mr. Yao gets to have a tender moment appreciating a past motel manager (who he probably treated like crap, but the point is Mr. Yao is a human being even if he's a bad one).

3. The brilliant handling of social justice themes. This book never felt overly didactic even though it offers a lot of lessons about injustice in America. It will be a great discussion starter for kids and adults.
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LibrarianDest | 59 other reviews | Jan 3, 2024 |
Still feels weird to mark things set in the 1990s as historical fiction, but I love to see [a:Kelly Yang|15524279|Kelly Yang|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1536187850p2/15524279.jpg] continue to add her own experiences on to Mia because looking for the women's world cup teams in Pasadena is a GREAT story!

The other thing about historical fiction is just how evergreen some things are- xenophobic sentiment continues to be a thing, as is housing discrimination and filial duty vs dreams (andwanting to set your kid up for success). There's a subtle, blink-and-you'll-miss-it queer line that's age appropriate for middle grade (though I recall similar in [b:Three Keys|53033829|Three Keys (Front Desk, #2)|Kelly Yang|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1578326939l/53033829._SX50_SY75_.jpg|73366589])

Despite all (and maybe because of?) Mia Tang remains an optimistic heroine, and even when discouraged she bounces back with force. Looking forward to rereading these with my kid when she's older.
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Daumari | 3 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |



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