Thorndike Press

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  • Kelly Yang
  • Offered By: Thorndike Striving Reader
  • ISBN-10: 143286145X
  • ISBN-13: 9781432861452
  • DDC: Fic
  • Shipping Weight: 1.25 lbs ( .57 kgs)
  • 396 Pages | Hardcover
  • Published/Released December 2018



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?

Grades 3-7 | Ages 8-12 | Lexile 640


Customer Reviews

Many young readers will see themselves in Mia and her friends. . . . A swiftly moving plot and a winsome protagonist make this a first purchase for any collection, especially where realistic fiction is in demand.

— School Library Journal (starred)

It's the details that sing in this novel, particularly the small moments that feel like everything when you're a kid . . . This book will help foster empathy for the immigrant experience for young readers, while for immigrant children, it is a much-needed and validating mirror. . . . Deserving of shelf space in every classroom and library.

— Booklist (starred)

With bittersweet information on Chinese immigration to America added in an author's note, this book captures many important themes to explore individually or in the classroom. Many readers will recognize themselves or their neighbors in these pages.

— Kirkus Reviews (starred)