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A Bankstreet Best Book of 2023 for Ages 12-14 with the distinction of Outstanding Merit

A story about a self-described ‘ditz’ who ends up on her school's Quiz Quest team in a bid to prove she’s smart.

Marianne Blume knows she’s one of the stupid kids. After years of trying and trying and feeling like she's always failing, she has mastered the art of turning off her brain whenever questions or lectures arise. She gets by in school on a combination of luck, deflection, and charisma—that is, until she lands in the classroom of Mr. Garcia.

To avoid flunking Mr. Garcia's class, Marianne joins her school's Quiz Quest team, hoping the move will ingratiate her to him, the team's coach. Can Marianne learn to be smart if she puts her mind to it? And what does it really mean to be 'bright,' anyway?

Bright is a readable and empowering story about bucking labels, overcoming preconceptions, and learning to find—and uphold—your own self-worth.

Check out the audiobook read by Matilda actress and bestselling author Mara Wilson!

"A winning story about persevering and being enough. I fell in love with Marianne – my heart broke for her even as I was cheering her on. I wanted to wrap her in a hug and tell her to believe in herself. Friendship and heart make Bright a touching and joyful read." -Debbi Michiko Florence

"[A] pitch perfect narrative... A winner, indeed, especially for readers who question their own worth." - Kirkus Review

"[A] thoughtfully rendered novel that... organically explores concepts of what it means to work hard and be smart through Marianne's realistically bumpy arc." - Publishers Weekly

"A gentle reminder that not everyone is who they seem and a great pick for middle-grade readers searching for where they belong." - Booklist

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