My favorite kids' book of 2018! Mia's Chinese parents get tricked into managing a run-down hotel for almost no money. Since Mia's the only one who speaks English, she ends up running the front desk. Smart and gutsy, she finds ways to keep the hotel running and the guests happy. It's partly a story about immigrants overcoming adversity, but also about people coming together to help each other, even when the rest of the world wants them to be enemies. A wonderful book!— Chris
A really charming and heartwarming immigration story from a child's perspective. Mia, along with her parents, emigrated from China. Her parents become caretakers of a motel and Mia works the front desk. She's resourceful and helpful and wants her customers to have the best experience. Along with her part time job (she's only 10), she goes to school and deals with various issues including, insecurities about her abilities, not having the right clothes (poor) and other standard kid issues and friendships.
Definite recommend for kids (adults) of all ages.— Audrey H.
Summer 2018 Kids Indie Next List
“A well-balanced book that shows one young Chinese girl’s experience of immigrating with her family to California. Funny, heart-wrenching, and innovative, this book shows the difficulties of starting over in a new country in a way that a young reader is able to understand. A great book to open our eyes to the different and sometimes unseen ways people struggle and how we can make the world a better place by being more inclusive and willing to listen to each other’s stories.”
— Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA
"Four starred reviews
* ""Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages."" -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.
Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.
Number 2: 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 3: 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?"