Blog tour: ‘Key Player,’ by Kelly Yang.

I think anybody with tweens or who teaches Year 6 upwards, should have heard of Yang’s ‘Front Desk’ series which follows the life of Mia Tang and her family as they try to fit in with the American way of life whilst staying true their Chinese roots. If you haven’t, then you need to get yourself to the library!

‘Key Player’ sees the country gripped by World Cup fever as the American ladies’ team faces off against the Chinese. Mia is excited to see teams representing both parts of her life come together, but as she experiences rising levels of tension with her American peers she starts to question who’s side she’s really on.

‘MIA TANG IS PLAYING TO WIN! The Women’s World Cup is coming to California, and everyone has football fever ― especially Mia! But when her PE teacher gives her a C, Mia has to pull up her grade by scoring interviews with the championship teams. It’s not so easy when…

1. The two teams are hunkered down in secret hotels in Pasadena and not taking any media requests.

2. Mr Yao is back at the motel― as a co-owner! Jason is sure his dad deserves a second chance. Mia is not so sure.

3. Mia’s parents are trying to buy a house of their very own, which turns out to be a LOT harder than they thought!

As Mia aims for her goals, she’ll have to face strikers from all corners, as well as her own fears. But if anyone can find a way to win big, it’s Mia Tang. The fourth book in the FRONT DESK series – following Mia Tang as she plays to win!’

As I was reading this excellent book, there were some clear themes which leapt out:

  • Football!
  • Standing up for yourself
  • Racism
  • Following your dreams

All of these make for a very interesting and entertaining read. I can imagine tween readers completely engaging with the sometimes tricky themes being explored but also throughly enjoying the the humour and heart that makes this series so fantastic.

Fans of the series will enjoy learning more about the grouchy Mr Yao’s childhood as his old diaries are uncovered during a clear out – you’ll be shocked!

Relevant, fun, and inspiring. Recommended for readers aged 10+

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Knights Of for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*

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