Kelly Yang

Meet Kelly

KELLY YANG, Founder, is the New York Times best-selling, award-winning author of FRONT DESK and winner of the 2018 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature. FRONT DESK is a debut middle grade novel published by Scholastic Inc, the publishers of Harry Potter, about a 10 year-old Chinese American immigrant girl who manages the front desk of a motel while her parents clean the rooms. In 2018, FRONT DESK was awarded the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature as well as the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal. In addition, FRONT DESK is a Children’s History Book Prize Honor Book, a E.B. White Honor Book, and has earned numerous other recognitions including being named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a NPR Best Book of the Year, a NBC Best Book of the Year, and a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year. In 2019, it was announced that FRONT DESK is a 2019 Global Read Aloud, connecting 1.5 million children around the world through one book.

Kelly is also the author of THREE KEYS, the sequel to FRONT DESK, coming out in September 2020 from Scholastic and PARACHUTES, her young adult debut novel, coming out in May 2020 from HarperCollins.

Kelly immigrated to America when she was 6 years old and grew up in Southern California. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School, having entered college at the age of 13 and Harvard Law School at the age of 17. In 2005, at the age of 20, Kelly became one of the youngest graduates of Harvard Law School.

After law school, she gave up law to pursue her passion of writing and teaching children writing. In 2005, Kelly founded The Kelly Yang Project to help students in Asia find their voice and become better writers and more powerful speakers. As an award-winning author, she’s designed the KYP curriculum to instill a passion for writing in children from a very early age.

Before turning to fiction, Kelly was also a columnist for the South China Morning Post for many years. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic.

For her efforts in education, Kelly has won: the California Legislature’s Woman of the Year, USA Today All-USA College Academic 1st Place Team. and ‘CosmoGIRL! of the Year’ from CosmoGIRL! Magazine. In 2010, The Kelly Yang Project was named ‘Second Best Small Education Company in the World’ by The Education Project Global Summit in Bahrain. In 2011, Kelly chaired the Harvard Book Prize in Hong Kong and served as a board member of the Harvard Club of Hong Kong.

Kelly regularly gives talks on writing and education and has spoken at conferences, companies, and schools around the world.

For all publicity inquires related to FRONT DESK, please email Kelly’s publicist Lauren Donovan at ldonovan@scholastic.com. For all other inquiries, please email kellyyangauthor@gmail.com.


Kelly’s Books

Front Desk

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?

Parachutes

FOUR STARRED REVIEWS!

National Bestseller

Speak enters the world of Gossip Girl in this modern immigrant story from New York Times bestselling author Kelly Yang about two girls navigating wealth, power, friendship, and trauma.

They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California.

Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. But Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course when her debate coach starts working with her privately.

As they steer their own distinct paths, Dani and Claire keep crashing into one another, setting a course that will change their lives forever.

Three Keys

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!

Where’s Broccoli

Most kids have a special friend growing up; that go-everywhere, battered, squeezed and much-adored confidante that helps to bridge the gap between parents and independence. “Where’s Broccoli?” by local Hong Kong author Kelly Yang is all about one boy – Eliot – and his special friend, a stuffed toy broccoli.

When Eliot and Broccoli head off on their holidays to a beachside resort, disaster strikes, as Broccoli ends up bundled in a pile of laundry, far away from his best friend and feeling very lost indeed. But of course, through a series of encounters (including one with a very helpful hotel maid!), the two pals are reunited at the end of the book.