• Front Desk

  • By: Kelly Yang
  • Narrated by: Sunny Lu
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (919 ratings)

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Front Desk  By  cover art

Front Desk

By: Kelly Yang
Narrated by: Sunny Lu
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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

Critic Reviews

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

Featured Article: Best Audiobooks for Middle Schoolers


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What listeners say about Front Desk

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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.

14 people found this helpful

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Truth stories

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

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wonderful!

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

5 people found this helpful

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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

4 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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Incredible story!

My 9 year old daughter and I listened to this story on our commute to and from school—and what an unexpected surprise it was for us! The cover looked more like a humorous story, and instead it was filled with REAL LIFE. This book led to fantastic discussions about the real world issues it explores, moments with my daughter that I wouldn’t trade for the world! We not only LOVED this book—we are thankful for the opportunities it gave us to grow as mother and daughter, and overall as more empathetic humans.

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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

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Not for Christians

This book is a great read I like the storyline I like Mia tang she is kind and selfless she tries to get her parents but there is the words hell in the book so if you believe in God and don’t like those words or have children under the age of 9 this book is not for you but overall I like this book and all lives matter 🤜🏿🤛🏻🤜🏾🤛🏽🤜🏽🤛🏼

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  • K
  • 11-09-20

front desk

this book is a good story for immigrants because the main character is an immigrant. this story is about a young immigrant named Mia, its her story of coming to America and finding a friend named Lumpia. and how she and Lumpia learn how to manage a motel .

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Terrible

This book was extremely annoying, but it was a project for my 6th grade son, so we listened together. The main character repeatedly does things that she shouldn't. She is praised and rewarded for lying. Then to add to all of it, the terrible attempt to teach about racism but at the same time being racist (reverse racism). I would never recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alentia
  • 06-02-22

Absolutely beautiful

I loved listening to this audiobook, the story was incredible and kept me hooked throughout. Mia was such a loving character, I wish I could meet her in real life! The author dud a great job at fleshing out each if the characters so that everybody felt like they had a story to tell.

I just wish the rest of this series was available as an audiobook!

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  • Paige
  • 01-01-22

Amazing

This book is so entertaining
I loved how the narrators voice was so clear and the book had amazing description and I could imagine the characters and the quality was awesome I would recommend this book if you like action and non fiction. Overall I would give this 5/5