FRONT DESK is a middle-grade novel from debut author Kelly Yang. Based on the author’s life, the story follows Mia—the daughter of first generation Chinese immigrants. Every day, while her parents clean, Mia manages the front desk of a motel in Southern California. Release date: May 29, 2018 by Arthur Levine/Scholastic, the publishers of Harry Potter.

Summary: FRONT DESK tells the story of 10 year old Mia Tang. Every day, Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel while her parents clean the rooms. She’s proud of her job. She loves the guests and treats them like family. When one of the guests gets into trouble with the police, it shakes Mia to her core. Her parents, meanwhile, hide immigrants in the empty rooms at night. If the mean motel owner Mr. Yao finds out, they’ll be doomed!


Advance Praise: 

Four starred reviews!

* “Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* “A first purchase for any collection.” — School Library Journal, starred review

* “It’s the details that sing in this novel, particularly the small moments that feel like everything when you’re a kid…Deserving of shelf space in every classroom and library.” — ALA Booklist, starred review

“Honest…powerful…heart-wrenching.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

Front Desk is a story about the hardships of immigrant life, the perpetuation of injustice, and a sweet, kind, indomitable young girl who chooses to rise up and fight no matter how hard it gets. Kelly Yang’s debut is a stunner.” — Mike Jung, author of Unidentified Suburban Object


Kelly Yang Mines Her Experience As Child Immigrant in US for Touching Debut Novel (SCMP Post Magazine)

Mr. Schu’s Cover Reveal

London Book Fair showcase


Pre-Order FRONT DESK now!

FRONT DESK is available for pre-order on Amazon!

Also available at:


Barnes and Noble



And wherever books are sold!

Add it to your Goodreads!


Foreign Rights:

The Australian/New Zealand edition will be published by Walker Books in August 2018.


For more information please contact:

For any publicity inquiries related to FRONT DESK, please contact:

Lauren Donovan, Publicist, at

For inquiries related to foreign rights, film and TV rights, please contact:

Alex Slater, Trident Media Group, at

For all other inquires, please contact Kelly at kellyyangauthor (at) gmail (dot) com.



May 29, 2018 — Books of Wonder, 6:30pm New York City


June 9, 2018–Children’s Book World, 2:30pm, Santa Monica, Los Angeles

June 15, 2018 — Folio Books, San Francisco, California