Published by Scholastic Press (Released September 15)
Summary: Mia Tang from Front Desk is back, along with her friends and family from the Calavista Motel. Mia’s family is enjoying owning the motel that they purchased at the end of book 1, but still have to work hard and pinch pennies. Meanwhile, Mia’s best friend Lupe is worried about the impending vote on Proposition 187, which will prohibit undocumented kids like her from going to school anymore. And Mia’s former enemy Jason Yao is trying to prove that he’s not like his parents and is worthy of the girls’ friendship. When Lupe’s parents run into trouble with the law and Mia and her friends experience racism at school, Mia must once again use her talents for writing and leadership to try to help her friends. Includes an author’s note on her childhood experiences with Proposition 187, and how current immigration policies closely resemble it. 288 pages; grades 4-7.
Pros: I don’t often read sequels, but I am so glad I made an exception for this book, which proved to be every bit as good as the first one. I know from experience that Front Desk is a popular book club choice; Three Keys also has a lot of timely discussion topics presented in a kid-friendly manner. I’ll keep hoping for some Newbery love for Kelly Yang.
Cons: As much as I would enjoy using this in a book club, I think readers would benefit from starting with Front Desk to get the background for book 2.