is the New York Times bestselling author of the FRONT DESK series, including FRONT DESK, THREE KEYS, and ROOM TO DREAM, NEW FROM HERE, and young adult novels PARACHUTES and PRIVATE LABEL. FRONT DESK is Kelly's award-winning middle grade debut novel about a 10 year old Chinese American immigrant girl who manages the front desk of a motel while her parents clean the rooms. FRONT DESK was awarded the 2019 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, the Parents' Choice Gold Medal, was the 2019 Global Read Aloud, and was named an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a NPR Best Book of the Year, and a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year.


Kelly immigrated to America when she was 6 years old and grew up in Southern California, where she and her parents worked in three different motels. She eventually left the motels and went to college at the age of 13 and law school at the age of 17. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she majored in Political Science, and Harvard Law School. After law school, she gave up law to pursue her passion of writing and teaching children writing. She is the founder of The Kelly Yang Project (, a leading writing and debating program for kids in Asia. As a writing teacher for 13 years, Kelly helped thousands of children find their voice and become better writers and more powerful speakers. Before turning to fiction, she was also a columnist for the South China Morning Post for many years. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic. She has three children and lives in Los Angeles. 

Latest Tour News:

Exciting news!

I am scheduling school visits in mid to late February as part of the NEW FROM HERE school tour. I will waive my honorarium in exchange for a minimum book order via a local bookstore. Please email [email protected] and CC me at [email protected] for consideration and further info!


Why did you become an author?

I became an author because I love telling stories. Ever since I was a little girl, I've always LOVED telling stories. I tell all kinds of stories -- stories about immigrant girls, loan sharks, wealth, privilege, motels, first love, relationships, family, trauma, poverty, and race. The thing that all my stories have in common is they are moving, authentic, and filled with diverse characters.

How much of what happened in Front Desk was real?

Front Desk was inspired by my childhood but is a work of fiction. I would say that it is about 60% real and 40% made up.

Is it true that you went to college at 13?

Yes and it was an incredibly traumatic experience (because academically you're one age, but emotionally you're a totally different age, and of course everyone around you is so much older) so I wouldn't recommend it!


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Parachutes in Betches

Parachutes in Oprah Magazine

Parachutes in Girls Life

Parachutes in New York Times – Kelly Yang Takes a Sledgehammer to Rape Culture

Parachutes in NBC: New YA novel about teens, racism and rape culture finds resonance amid pandemic

How Harvard Law School Came After Me For Speaking Up About My Sexual Assault

BuzzFeed calls Parachutes “A Gut Punch of a Debut”

Parachutes Named an Indie Next List Summer 2020 Title

Parachutes Named a Publisher’s Weekly Best Summer Read 2020

Parachutes 15 Fav YA Books of 2020

Parachutes in Book & Film Globe

TeenVogue calls Parachutes a Must Read

Parachutes in Elle Magazine

Parachutes in BuzzFeed’s Recommended Spring YA Books

Parachutes in Parents Magazine

Parachutes in NBCNews Recommended APAHM Books

Parachutes on NPR

Parachutes a Book Riot 10 best YA Release

Parachutes a United by Pop Must Read YA

Parachutes in Culturess’s 15 Must Read YAs

Parachutes Interview in Publisher’s Weekly

BookPage 16 women to watch in 2020

Parachutes Review in Nerdy Daily

Parachutes Review in Asian Review of Books

Parachutes Starred Review in ALA Booklist

Parachutes Starred Review in School Library Journal

Parachutes Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly

Parachutes Interview in Horn Book

Parachutes on Pat Thurston Live Radio

Parachutes To Be Published in the UK by Harper360

Front Desk Hits New York Times Best Seller List

Front Desk Receives Asian Pacific American Award for Literature

Three Keys, Sequel to Front Desk, to be Published by Scholastic in Sept 2020


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Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners: [email protected]com
Publicist for the FRONT DESK series: Lauren Donovan, Scholastic: [email protected]
Publicist for NEW FROM HERE: Lisa Moradela, Simon & Schuster: [email protected]
Publicist for PARACHUTES and PRIVATE LABEL: Jacqueline Burke, HarperCollins: Jacquelynn.[email protected]
Copyright Kelly Yang 2019
PARACUTES Art © Chung-Yun Yoo.