By Kelly Yang
Mia Tang returns in this follow-up book to the amazing Front Desk. This time, Mia and her parents, along with some of their friends, are the owners of the Calivista Motel in Los Angeles. While they are always willing to welcome immigrants to their motel, there is a growing anger in many Californians toward undocumented immigrants.
A hot topic of discussion in Mia’s grade six class is Proposition 187, a bill designed to make life much more difficult for “illegals”. If Prop 187 gets passed into law, undocumented immigrant children will no longer be allowed to attend school.
Mia is outraged by this idea, but the effects of Prop 187 really hit home when she learns that she actually knows many undocumented immigrants, some of whom are among her best friends. When one of them gets put in jail, Mia and her friends get to work to try to keep him from getting deported.
Three Keysalso tackles other issues faced by immigrants, such as the loss of their culture and the difficulties they have finding good jobs in the United States. Mia’s mom, for example, was an engineer in China, but in the U.S. she must clean motel rooms.
This is another fantastic book by Kelly Yang. Although it takes place in the early 1990s, the issues of discrimination and racism continue to resonate today. Three Keys will also have readers cheering for Mia and her friends – even though they are kids they are willing to take on the fight against racism. A highly enjoyable read!