A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Kids will learn about the racism that immigrants and minorities face in America and California Proposition 187, a 1994 ballot initiative that would ban undocumented immigrants from healthcare access and public education. The author's note at the end of the story includes Yang's experiences with racism and more resources about Prop. 187.
Compassion, communication, courage, empathy, family, friendship, and activism are important themes. The three keys to friendship are listening, caring, and keep trying. Thinking and doing are two different things, so when you see something you know is wrong it's important to take action.
Positive Role Models
These characters work together to fight against racism and for social justice. They are kind, empathetic, compassionate, courageous, and supportive. The story includes a diverse cast that includes Chinese, Chinese American, Mexican, Mexican American, Indian, and African American characters.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the racism and discrimination that characters experience in the story include being turned away from banks, finding signs that say "whites only" at the Calivista Motel pool, and graffiti that says "Immigrants go back to your country." A kid's dad is taken into custody by the immigration police and kids are bullied at school.
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"Oh my God," "dog fart." Insults include "stupid," "filled with toilet paper," "illegals," "dumbling," and "Chinese doughboy."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kelly Yang's Three Keys: Front Desk, Book 2 is a powerful and timely sequel that continues to tackle tough, real-world topics including immigration and racism. Kids will learn about California Proposition 187, a 1994 ballot initiative that would ban undocumented immigrants from health care and public education. Some of the racism and discrimination that characters experience in the story include being turned away from banks, finding signs that say "whites only" at the Calivista Motel pool, and graffiti that says "Immigrants go back to your country." A kid's dad is taken into custody by the immigration police and kids are bullied at school. Insults include "illegals" and "Chinese doughboy."
Is It Any Good?
With the help of her family, friends, and the Calivista Motel community, Mia Tang continues to tackle racism and fight for social justice in this powerful and timely sequel. Kelly Yang's Three Keys to friendship -- "You gotta listen, you gotta care, and most importantly, you gotta keep trying." -- also apply when it comes to standing up for what's right. Readers will love how these characters work together to advocate for others and see that small actions can lead to big changes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
Kids' Books About the Immigrant Experience
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