Student & Teacher review of Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Recently, I read Front Desk and I've been gushing about it ever since... One of my was willing to gush with me... check out our thoughts below! 


·     The setting was at a motel, why was this important to the story?

o  Hayden: Mia worked and lived at the motel. She basically did everything there, and almost all of the big events in the book happened at the Calivista.

o  Mrs. Kuehler: This is a book where the setting is so important, it’s like a main character. The Calivista Motel was so important to the plot, that without it, it wouldn’t have worked. Also, I had no idea I could love a motel like I do this one.

·     How does the author’s note at the end of the book add to what you learned in this book?

o  Hayden: That lots of the events in the book actually happened in her life. Like how she helped work at the front desk at the motels her parents managed.

o  Mrs. Kuehler: Many of the events in the book were based on real events that happened in Kelly Yang’s life. Her family really did run a motel and she helped out with the front desk jobs! The book sort of felt like a memoir after I found that out, but some of the events Kelly made up for the story. You’ll have to read it to find out what was real and what was fiction.

·     What real-world issue is showing up in this book?

o  Hayden: African Americans were not treated equally. In the part where the man’s car got stolen, Mr.Yao thought that it was Mrs. Robinson just because she was African American, without any evidence.

o  Mrs. Kuehler: This novel is timely because Mr. Yao treated people of color, especially African Americans horribly. Some people would argue that racism like that is still prevalent in the United States today. Other real-world issues that I noticed were poverty, immigration, and xenophobia.

·     What did you like best about the main character, Mia?

o  Hayden: I liked how much she wanted to be a writer even though she didn’t have very good grammar. She kept working at being better even though her mom said rude comments, and wanted her to do more math, she kept going. I also liked how she loved working up at the front desk, and how she liked to be in charge of it.

o  Mrs. Kuehler: I loved Mia’s gumption. She was not willing to take no for answer and she would do anything if it was the right thing to do. She cared for everyone and would bend over backward to help someone in need. She is truly one of the most selfless characters I have ever met.

·     Why would you recommend this book to others?

o  Hayden: I would recommend this book because I could see myself doing the things that Mia did, such as writing the letter of recommendation for her neighbor, Hank.

o  Mrs. Kuehler: YES, I would definitely recommend this book because there were a lot of real-world issues that were addressed in the book. Issues that are sad to talk about, but we need to talk about them so that people gain more empathy for others.  I have already recommended this book so many times to the people in my life.

·     How would you fill in the blank: fans of __________ will enjoy this book.

o  Hayden: I think if you liked, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling, Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart, Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur you would like Front Desk.

o  Mrs. Kuehler: Fans of The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, The First Rule of Punk by Celia Perez, Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson and Blended by Sharon Draper will enjoy this book.

·     What feelings did this book make you feel while reading?

o  Hayden: This book made laugh a lot one of my favorite parts was when Mia had to make the pamphlet!

o  Mrs. Kuehler: This book had me on a roller coaster of emotions. One chapter I would be laughing out loud, another chapter I was seething with anger at Mr. Yao and then the next chapter would have been overcome with the feeling of wanting to give Mia a hug.

·     If you got the chance to ask the author one question, what would it be?

o  Hayden: How long did it take you to write Front Desk? When you were a kid and working at the motel, did you think about writing this book?
o  Mrs. Kuehler: What are you working on next?!
















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