Front desk is a story about Mia Tang, as she and her family move to the United States. They were very poor, and bounced around to many different jobs. Finally they landed a job as managers at a motel. Alas their boss was not vey nice, and once they got the job, he made their pay much, much lower. They were forced to stay at the job though, as it gave them a free house to live in, because they lived in the motel. So Mia’s mom and Mia’s dad both worked hard cleaning the rooms, while Mia maned the front desk. Mia then enrolls in a free public school, and meets Mr.Yao’s son, Jason. Jason is mean to Mia, like his dad is mean to Mia’s parents. Mia does find a friend though, a Mexican girl named Lupe. Both Lupe and Mia are poor, so they become friends fast. While Mia is in the library, she checks out a magazine that says, “couple in Vermont hold an essay writing contest, the prize, their motel!” And Mia takes the magazine back to the motel in hopes of trying to win it one day. At the motel she meets the weeklies, the people who stay at the motel every week, and is practically their home. The weeklies are nice to Mia, and share her hatred with Mr.Yao. Mr.Yao starts keeping all of the money from her parents as they are breaking their backs cleaning rooms for him, so Mia decides it was time to enroll in the essay contest. English wasn’t her best subject, but she believed that it was the only way to get out of the mess she and her parents were in. There was a twist though, the essay contest had an entry fee of 200 dollars. Mia decides to put up a tip jar, so that customers satisfied with their stay could leave a tip to help toward paying for the essay contest. Once Mia has 100 dollars in tips though, disaster strikes. As Mia is walking home from school, her mother is on the sidewalk with a gash in her head. She said that people tried to rob the motel, and pushed her on the floor and kicked her in the head. Mia’s mom and Mia’s dad argued about wether to bring her to the hospital or not. They both knew that they didn’t have nearly enough money, and no insurance. Mia decides that the only thing she can do is give her parents her tip money, so she gives it to them and they go off to the hospital. The hospital bill is way too much than they have, so they plead with the doctor. The doctor says that they can cut the bill down if they live on rent and make less than a certain amount of money each year. They live without rent though, so the doctor, seeing the state the family is in, gives them the bill cut anyway. The bill was still $100, so Mia gives up her well earned tip money, and gives it to the doctor. Feeling somber, yet relieved her mother was okay, Mia returned to the front desk, then something weird started happening. Lots of Chinese immigrants started coming to the Calvista Motel! Mia’s parents harbored the immigrants at the motel, as they knew that if Mr.Yao saw them he would fire Mia’s parents on the spot. Lots of them had very interesting stories. So on life went, as Mia saved up more and more money from tips, she realized that tips were not going to get her the $200 dollars she needed, as business slowed around the holidays. So she had to go to drastic measures. She took the bag of special pennies that her dad and her saved up over the years, and told one of the weeklies, Hank, to go downtown and exchange the pennies for dollars, and so Hank did. Now with the entry money she needed, Mia stayed up all night writing an essay for what she would do with the motel if she won. Using the dictionary-thesaurus that one of the weeklies gifted to her, she made an essay that she was sure would win the contest. After mailing the essay and the entry fee to the couple, she waited, and waited, and waited for the letter back from the couple to arrive. When the letter arrived almost a month later, Mia, Mia’s parents, and the weeklies all gathered around her as she opened the letter, her knees wobbly as jello, yet her stomach heavy as a rock, with trembling fingers she opened the letter. “Hello Mia Tang, We are sorry to inform you that...” as Mia read the rest of the letter, her voiced became quieter, and quieter until all in the room was Mia’s sniffling and sobbing. She hugged her dad and apologized, saying that she had sold their lucky pennies to pay for the entry fee. With all hope seemingly lost for Mia and her family, life went on. Customer came and went, but as summer neared, the family was given news from Mr.Yao, he would be selling the motel, and Mia and her family would have to deal with the next owner that came around. It was terrible news for Mia’s parents, but Mia saw an opportunity. She called all of the customers that had come in the last few weeks to try and help them raise $500,000, as that was the sling price Mr.Yao had. The weeklies contributed, and the customer contributed, and some people who also tried to win the essay writing so test contributed, and a investor contributed 50,000 dollars to their cause. So, armed with $500,000, Mia and her family called Mr.Yao and Said they had the money, and wanted to buy the motel, Mr.Yao laughed and said that someone else already called saying he was going to give him more. Sadly, Mia’s parents hung up the phone. They would have to give the 50,000 dollars back to the investor, therefore not being close to the asking amount. Mia sulked to her last day of school, where Jason walked up to Mia and whispered, “ My dad is bluffing. There is no other buyer.” Shocked by Jason’s new found kindness, she sprinted back to the motel to tell her parents. Her parents called Mr.Yao and informed him they knew he was bluffing. Begrudgingly, Mr.Yao gave Mia’s parents the motel, and Mia’s parents gave him the 500,000 dollars. All of the weeklies, The investor, and the Chinese Immigrants that the family had taken cared of all came to the ceremony, and all jumped into the pool behind the motel, swimming happily under the hot summer sun. What Mia had been dreaming America was like, finally became a reality.