Setting Goals, Achieving Dreams

A little inspiration can lead the way

In stories, characters rarely write a specific list of goals that they then attempt to achieve. However, many stories focus on characters overcoming obstacles, facing fears, becoming better people, helping others, or otherwise accomplishing goals just by trying. A great example of this is the story of Mia and her family in Front Desk.

Front Desk, by Kelly Yang, is the first book in a series about a young Chinese immigrant, Mia, and her family after they move to California. The family endures unfair treatment, poverty, and abusive bosses as they struggle to achieve the American Dream. The perseverant Mia, with her clear vision and determination, lifts the family up and moves them forward.

Mia’s parents work hard but can’t make enough money, so she helps get them jobs operating a motel, the Calivista, for the owner, Mr. Yao. At first, this is wonderful because they are perfectly willing to live and work in the motel, but soon they are treated badly and taken advantage of over and over, and Mia realizes this is another dead-end situation.

The solution? When Mr. Yao puts the motel up for sale, Mia has a goal: buy the motel. At first, no one believes it can happen. However, Mia convinces the people who have lived in the motel for a long time, family friends, and businesspeople to invest in the motel.

Meanwhile, Mia’s great love is writing. She knows she is still learning English and doesn’t always get the best grades on her essays, but she has something important: she has a voice, and this voice must be heard! Mia enters a writing contest with big dreams, and while she doesn’t win, she does gain something else: admiration and confidence. With this positive feedback and encouraging support, Mia is ready to keep chasing her goal of being a journalist.

In the end, the motel is bought by the investors and Mia has learned valuable lessons about not giving up and focusing all her determination on a goal. We love a story of writing as an empowering and life-changing skill, and that is why at SpiderSmart we love Mia!