• Vivian Teo

READ & REVIEWED: Front Desk series by Kelly Yang

A heart-warming middle-grade book that will have you rooting for its spunky protagonist as it gently and effectively addresses racism for children.

I've always love middle-grade books that gently yet effectively tackle themes which can be heavy for children and the Front Desk series by Kelly Yang is definitely one of them.


Ten year-old Mia Tang and her parents moved from China to the US for a better and freer life. But is their new life really better as they face racism and are exploited by the boss of the motel they work at? The theme sounds heavy for kids but the story when told through Mia's eyes, evokes laughter and poignancy, and will have you rooting for the spunky Mia to change her family's life.


The fact that the story is inspired by Kelly Yang's real-life experience immigrating to America from China and running a motel with her parents, lends much authenticity to Mia's words and what life can be like for new immigrants. Reading Yang's author's notes at the end of the book will have you rooting for the author as well.


Little E read the first two book of the series when she was eight and loved them. "I learned about racism and sterotypes in the books, and why we should not judge and treat people differently just because of the colour of their skin." She said she found the second book, Three Keys, even better than Front Desk. I haven't read Three Keys but I guess she has set the expectations high for me now given that Front Desk is already one of my favourite MG book of all times!


The first two books are available at all good Singapore bookstores. The third book of the series, Room to Dream, is expected to be out in September. We'll definitely be keeping our eyes out for that!

Disclaimer: We paid for our books, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.


Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.

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