ROOM TO DREAM, By Kelly Yang, Scholastic Press, Sept. 21, 2021, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 8-12)
Mia Tang and her friends are back in Kelly Yang’s third book about a Chinese immigrant’s experiences in America in Room to Dream.
After years of hard work, Mia Tang finally gets to go on vacation with her family — to China! A total dream come true! Mia can’t wait to see all her cousins and grandparents again, especially her cousin Shen. As she roams around Beijing, witnessing some of the big changes China’s going through, Mia thinks about the changes in her own life, like . . .
- Lupe’s taking classes at the high school! And Mia’s own plans to be a big writer are . . . stuck.
- Something happened with Jason and Mia has no idea what to do about it.
- New buildings are popping up all around the motel, and small businesses are disappearing.
Can the Calivista survive? Buckle up! Mia is more determined than ever to get through the turbulence, now that she finally has . . . room to dream! —Synopsis provided by Scholastic Press
First and foremost, if you haven’t read the first two books about Mia — Front Desk and Three Keys, you need to. Though Room to Dream stands well on its own, the first two books provide context, and are so good, I’d recommend reading them whether part of a series or not.
Author Kelly Yang was 6 years old when her family moved to America for “a better life.” And like Yang’s other Front Desk books, Mia’s experiences mirror some of the author’s own. It lends an authenticity that you can’t get elsewhere. That paired with Yang’s warm prose make for a powerful reading experience.
Yang’s characters are multi-faceted and endearing, and their experiences ring true no matter your background. Mia’s hope and willingness to stand up for what’s right make her a protagonist you want to root for.
Room to Dream is an excellent option for readers across the board.
© 2021, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.