Rummanah Aasi
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.
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!

Review: Three Keys is a great sequel to Yang's delightful Front Desk. Things are really looking up for Mia Tang as starts middle school. Her family are now the proud owners of the Calivista Motel. The motel is doing well, but the racist and xenophobic rhetoric of a rising political campaign and upcoming election.  California's Prop 187 would ban undocumented immigrants from access to health care and public schooling and it is on the ballot. The book's plot does a great job in showcasing the progress and setbacks that Mia experiences such as personally being faced with microaggressions by her teacher in class and taking note of similar experiences by her classmates of color. There is also a discussion of assimilation and class in which Mia feels a sense of guilt of losing her Chinese culture that her parents hold so dearly and Mia's mom wanting to buy an expensive dress to in order to impress other Chinese women. Though her family does well in business, there are still close to poverty. 
  The struggles of undocumented immigrants hits closely to Mia as her friend Lupe reveals that her family is undocumented, creating a portrait of fear as her father is jailed. The impending vote has significant consequences for all immigrants, not just the Garcias, as racial threats increase. With the help of a cast of strong supporting characters, Mia bravely uses her voice and her pen to change opinions—with family, friends, teachers, and even voters. She also learns what it means to be a good ally: to listen, to care, and to continue fighting for what is right. This timely novel is a great read and make an excellent book discussion for younger readers. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There are microaggressions made by a teacher to her students of color and xenophobic comments. Recommended for Grades 4 and up

If you like this book try: The Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar, Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
1 Response
  1. I feel that I need to read both of this author's books. I heard such good things about Front Desk and now this sequel. Thank you for reminding me about them.

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