Kelly Yang’s novels Front Desk, Three Keys, Room to Dream, Key Player, and Top Story tell the story of Mia Tang — a young girl who moved to America from China with her parents. Dealing with themes such as immigration, racism, social injustice, perseverance, and more, these must-read novels are based on the writer’s real-life experience running a motel with her parents.

Download a free PDF teaching guide for grades 3-7 to spark conversation with your students about the themes raised in the novels.  

What's Included in the Guide

  • 14 discussion questions for Front Desk
  • 2 research questions for Front Desk
  • 12 discussion questions for Three Keys
  • 3 research questions for Three Keys
  • 11 discussion questions for Room to Dream
  • 4 extension activities for Room to Dream
  • Article and website resources 
  • List of relevant organizations
  • Book list of recommended related titles

Sample question for Front Desk:
At the beginning of Front Desk, Mia’s mom says their family came from China to America “because it’s freer here.” (p. 4) What examples from the book support this statement? What examples from the book suggest otherwise?

Sample question for Three Keys:
Mia, Lupe, and Hank attend a march protesting Proposition 187. What is the purpose of a protest? What do Mia and Lupe see, feel, and experience at the march? What are people around you protesting today?

Sample question for Room to Dream:
Throughout both Front Desk and Three Keys, Mia’s relationship with Jason changed. How does their relationship evolve more in Room to Dream

About the author:
Kelly Yang is the author of Front Desk, which won the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by multiple publications, including NPR, the Washington Post, and the New York Public Library. Three Keys is the second book featuring Mia Tang, her friends, and the Calivista Motel.

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