Mia Tang lives in a motel. Every day while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia runs the front desk. She takes care of customers and also helps hide the immigrants her parents sometimes let stay in the motel for free. If the owner Mr. Yao finds out, Mia’s family will be out of a home and out of a job. On top of all that, Mia really wants to be a writer, but her mother insists she focus on math.
Front Desk is a heartwarming story about the goodness of people, but it doesn’t shy away from some hard issues. Mia fearlessly confronts prejudice and the unkind treatment of immigrants trying to make their way in a new country. Her story stays age appropriate for middle grade and tween readers, but it is a good way for readers to expand their world view. A highly recommended read for many ages.