Three Keys (A Front Desk Novel) (Hardcover)

Three Keys (A Front Desk Novel) Cover Image
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Fall 2020 Kids Indie Next List

“A heartfelt and powerful middle grade novel about southern California in 1994 grappling with immigration and Proposition 187. While I haven’t read Front Desk, its sequel stands well on its own. Mia Tang, daughter of Chinese immigrants, helps run their motel with the help of a rainbow cast of locals and friends. When her best friend’s father is arrested and threatened with deportation, they all band together to fight for his release amidst the Prop 187 protests. The novel explores friendship and determination in ways that will bring tears and laughs.”
— Robin Stern, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA


The story of Mia and her family and friends at the Calivista Motel continues in this powerful, hilarious, and resonant sequel to the award-winning novel Front Desk.

Mia Tang thinks she's going to have the best year ever.

She and her parents are the proud owners of the Calivista Motel, Mia gets to run the front desk with her best friend, Lupe, and she's finally getting somewhere with her writing!

But as it turns out, sixth grade is no picnic...
1. Mia's new teacher doesn't think her writing is all that great. And her entire class finds out she lives and works in a motel!
2. The motel is struggling, and Mia has to answer to the Calivista's many, many worried investors.
3. A new immigration law is looming and if it passes, it will threaten everything -- and everyone -- in Mia's life.

It's a roller coaster of challenges, and Mia needs all of her determination to hang on tight. But if anyone can find the key to getting through turbulent times, it's Mia Tang!

About the Author

Kelly Yang is the author of Front Desk, which won the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and was chosen a Best Book of the Year by multiple publications, including NPR, the Washington Post, and the New York Public Library. Kelly's family immigrated to the United States from China when she was a young girl, and she grew up in California, in circumstances very similar to those of Mia Tang. She eventually left the motels and went to college at the age of 13, and is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She is the founder of The Kelly Yang Project, a leading writing and debating program for children in Asia and the United States. Her writing has been published in the South China Morning Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Atlantic. To learn more about her and the Front Desk books, visit

Praise For…

Praise for Three Keys:

* "Mia is the compassionate, action-driven heroine today's readers deserve." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Sixth grader Mia Tang returns to battle racism." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "A more-than-worthy sequel, full of hope and heart, even in the darkest of times." -- Booklist, starred review

* "A must-read for 2020." -- Colby Sharp, Co-founder of The Nerdy Book Club

Awards and Praise for Front Desk:

Parents' Choice Gold Medal Fiction Award Winner

NPR Best Books of the Year

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year

Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year

Washington Post Best Books of the Year

Amazon Best Books of the Year

School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

Bookpage Best Books of the Year

New York Public Library Best Books of the Year

Chicago Public Library Best Books of the Year

Top Ten Debut Novels 2018 -- ALA Booklist

* "Much-needed." -- Booklist, starred review

* "Empowered." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Swiftly-moving." -- School Library Journal, starred review

* "Powerful." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

Product Details
ISBN: 9781338591385
ISBN-10: 133859138X
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2020
Pages: 288