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Room to Dream: 11/05/22
Room to Dream by Kelly Yang (2021) is the third book in the Front Desk series. The Tangs are headed to Beijing for vacation, a chance to see family for the first time since emigrating to the United States. At home and abroad, beloved neighborhoods are facing gentrification.
This is the mid 1990s before the internet started to take off. It's on the cusp of the tech boom. This is when chains started to grow without check.
In Anaheim, the Tangs see gentrification first hand when the motels nearest them are purchased by a chain and then their own motel is given an offer that is hard to refuse. They also see local Mom and Pop businesses close or be forced to move to less desirable locations. In Beijing Mia is shocked to see similar levels of gentrification. Her grandparents are holding on to their traditional home while friends and family are leaving for new apartments. Mia's parents are put under pressure to help relocate the parents.
Through all of this, Mia discovers a new outlet for her writing. Though she gains an audience, she also has to learn about journalistic ethics. She might also risk her friendships home in Anaheim. I did love the ingenuity that went into saving Calivista.
The fourth book is Key Player (2022).