Kelly Yang 是誰？她十三歲就進入 UC Berkeley 唸大學，十七歲進入 Harvard Law School 就讀法律學位，當年才二十歲的 Kelly Yang 成為哈佛法學院史上最年輕的畢業生，但她畢業後並沒有從事律師相關工作，反而成為了一位知名的作家、講師、辯論家及部落客！
Kelly 曾獲得 the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year、USA Today All-USA College Academic 1st Place Team、 ‘CosmoGIRL! of the Year’ from CosmoGIRL! Magazine 等多個獎項。她曾在電視上與知名政治人物進行辯論，也被譽為亞洲教育最受歡迎的教育講師。
上星期，小記者 Aaron 和 Jaslyne 參加了 Kelly Yang 的童書新書發表會 ～～ 她的最新作品 Front Desk 是一本以四至六年級兒童為對象的小說，內容環繞 10歲的華裔少女 Mia 與新移民父母在加州經營汽車旅館的苦與樂，以及她面對生活和學習中各種挑戰的成長過程，既有風趣幽默的笑點，也有震撼和感人的情節，很多材料都是來自 Kelly 自身的成長經歷，有半自傳的成分，讓人看得非常投入。
Kelly 目前是香港 South China Morning Post 的專欄作家，針對教育、文化、中國及科技作評論，她的觀點經常被 New York Times、Washington Post、The Atlantic、CNN等國際媒體報導和引用。她也常在網路上針對全球青少年的議題拍攝影片與大家討論。
Kelly 在香港成立了 Kelly Yong Project 學習中心，將她對寫作的熱情傳遞給孩子們，並教導他們時事批判、全球思維、辯論及國際時事，許多 Kelly 的學生都進入美國名校就讀呢！
且來看看兩位小記者對 Front Desk 小說的讀後感吧！
FRONT DESK 在 Amazon 網上書店連結：https://www.amazon.com/Front-Desk-Kelly-Yang/dp/1338157795
Book Review by Aaron Estrada
Here is my opinion on the book “Front Desk” and why I recommend it to everybody. The author, Kelly Yang, wrote this book to help her own son to read and it worked. It would work for me too because it is so hard to put down once I started reading it. The author draws on her own life experiences born into an educated family in her home country of China. Her family leaves China to immigrate to the US. Upon arrival, the hardships begin. Her educated parents take on a low paying job as motel managers at Calivista Motel. She has dreams of becoming a writer. Mia is put into the position to help her parents as the front desk manager at 10 years old while they clean rooms at the motel. They start making a good amount of money at the start and help other immigrants to put them in some of the empty rooms in the motel at night. Then they are faced with the motel owner, Mr. Yao, changing the payment arrangement on them. The cruel owner makes it difficult for them to earn the fair wages however, they have a hard time fighting it as immigrants without another job to survive.
At school the main character, Mia Tang, has a lot of secrets. She makes up stories about where she lives, about her parents, about who she is, to conceal what is going on in her life. She is afraid to invite people over or to share about what her parents do for a living. She has to move to different schools and is made fun of by how she dresses. In one instance, she find very expensive jeans from a guest. Later though, she is forced to give them back as she is getting yelled at by Mr. Yao. My favorite character would have to be Mia because in the book she is very passionate about writing. She doesn’t give up and she actually helps a lot of her family and friends. That is how she became an outstanding writer.
I personally like it because of the details and how the family got into the situation. The whole story is witty, humorous, and very emotional. After I read the first few pages of the book, I could not put it down. I would read for hours straight until I finished it. When I finished it, I got kind of sad because I wanted to know more of what happened. Although this book was written for her son and kids 8 -12 years old, it is suitable for all ages beyond 12 years old also. I recommended it to my parents too. There are different life lessons and different characters that you will most likely relate to in your life. I hope Mrs. Kelly Yang makes more books in the future, because I personally think she is a very good writer.
Book Review by Jaslyne Tam
Front Desk by Kelly Yang is an outstanding and superb book that describes the struggles of the Chinese-immigrant, Mia Tang.This book is actually very similar to Kelly Yang’s life when she was a child. Though it is not an autobiography, Yang said that many of the events happened to her in real life. Front Desk talks about how Mia’s family struggles with living in America as Chinese immigrants, like Kelly Yang’s family did. Kelly’s parents were managers of a motel, like Mia’s parents.
I enjoyed the book because of its fantastic character development. Mia really changed from the beginning of the book to the end. In the beginning of Front Desk, Mia wasn’t as brave and resilient as she was in the end. She was a very strong character after the challenges she faced in the book, which changed and developed her character.
I also enjoyed the spectacular storyline of Front Desk. As the book moves along, there are so many complications that she and her family go through that really make the book interesting. One such complication was when Mr. Yao, the mean owner of the motel, almost caught an immigrant that the Tangs were housing for free. I really wanted to know what Mia and her parents would do to help save the immigrants.
While there are many great things about this book, there was a part of the book that I wish was changed. It was stressed that Mia really wanted to swim in the pool in the beginning of the book. But throughout the book it was never mentioned again. Finally, in the end, when the Tangs gain ownership of the motel, they are able to swim in the pool without Mr. Yao yelling at them. Kelly Yang ended her book with the pool, but it wasn’t stressed enough for it to be significant.
Front Desk is a lovely book for people of all ages, races, and genders. But I do recommend this book especially to people from ages 8 to 12. People over 12 years old will probably also enjoy Front Desk, but ages 8 to 12 is probably the best age range for relating to this book.
Overall, I rate this book 9/10. I enjoyed many things in this book, but I think that the ending of the book was very unsatisfactory compared to the rest of the book. I recommend this book to anybody fortunate enough to come across it.