Shine!

Shine!

by J.J. Grabenstein, Chris Grabenstein

Hardcover

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Overview

"Inspirational, commonsensical, and a whole lot of fun." —James Patterson

Everyone deserves to shine in this sparkling new book from the New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Chris Grabenstein, and coauthor J.J. Grabenstein—just right for fans of Word of Mouse and The Fourteenth Goldfish.


"Who do you want to be?" asks Mr. Van Deusen. "And not when you grow up. Right here, right now."

Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper's hero—astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse—but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she's just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, since her dad's new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn't fit in.

Bursting with humor, heart, science, possibilities, and big questions, Shine! is a story about finding your place in the universe—a story about figuring out who you are and who you want to be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781524717667
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 11/05/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 93,560
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

J.J. & CHRIS GRABENSTEIN are a husband-wife writing team. J.J. is an award-winning voice-over and stage performer. Chris is a New York Times bestselling author of many books, including the Mr. Lemoncello's Library and Welcome to Wonderland series, as well as the coauthor of numerous page-turners with James Patterson, including Word of Mouse and the I Funny, House of Robots, and Treasure Hunters series. J.J. and Chris live in New York City. Visit them online at ChrisGrabenstein.com and on Twitter at @CGrabenstein.

Read an Excerpt

Some people are meant to shine.
 
Others are better off blending in.
 
Me?
 
I’m a blender. But tonight is one of the biggest nights ever for my dad, so I’m here to help.
 
Dad’s singers are onstage at the Municipal Auditorium, waiting for the curtain to rise. I’m off in the wings, dressed in black, trying to disappear.
 
My dad, Marcus Milly, is a music teacher at Fairview Middle School. His a cappella group has finally, for the first time in recorded history, by some sort of miracle, made it all the way to the biggest show in town: the finals of the Winter Sing-Off.
 
The place is packed. The local news crews are here, too, taping reports for their eleven o’clock broadcasts.
 
“The finals!” I hear the reporter from Channel 8 say into a camera. “You can’t get much closer to the big finish than that!”
 
Dad’s group sailed through the first two rounds with their mash-up of “Let It Snow” and “Winter Wonderland,” which, by the way, sounded even better on a stage sparkling with glittery spray-can snow. Now they just have to do one more song for the judges. And they’ll do it without instruments or even a piano because that’s what “a cappella” means. It’s all vocals and schoop-schoops and mouth noises.
 
I don’t go to Fairview. (I’m a seventh grader at Westside.)
 
That’s a good thing.
 
Music is Dad’s life. And even though I’m related to the director, I don’t sing well enough to make the Fairview choir. Or any choir.
 
Because I can’t carry a tune in a lunch box.
 
At home, I don’t even sing in the shower.
 
And we definitely don’t do carpool karaoke.
 
Anyway, like I said, Dad has never come this close to winning the big countywide holiday a cappella contest, and I’ve never been more excited for him.
 
That’s why I volunteered to be his assistant and help out backstage. Dad and his singers are the main attraction. I’m just a moon orbiting their planet.
 
“This is it, Piper,” says Dad, his eyes twinkling with excitement.
 
“You’ve got this!” I tell him.
 
We fist-bump on it.
 
The curtain will go up for everybody’s final songs in seven minutes. I can see other choirs waiting in the wings. Some are in red-and-green outfits. Others in sparkling blue and silver. The backdrop is a row of Christmas trees flanked by a cardboard menorah and a Kwanzaa candle set.
 
Dad’s group is totally focused, doing their vocal warm-ups.
 
“Ah-oh-oo-oh-ah . . .”
 
They limber up their lips with a tongue twister.
 
“Red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather . . .”
 
Suddenly I hear a cough!
 
Dad twirls around. Now there’s panic in his eyes.
 
One dry throat in the soprano section could ruin everything! That’s exactly what happened at the Nationals last year. Dad and I watched it on YouTube. A coughing fit took down the top team in the country. (A girl up front was hacking so much during “Let It Go” that she sounded like a high-pitched Chihuahua.)
 
“Water, Piper,” Dad says. From the tremor in his voice, I can tell: he remembers that disaster, too.
 
“Room-temperature water!” I add, because my scientific brain knows that room-temperature water is much better for vocal cords than cold or hot.
 
Cold water could actually hurt a singer’s voice—tighten the cords when they need to be loosened. You don’t want hot water, either, because it can cause your pharynx to swell slightly. You should also avoid dairy.
 
I take off, looking for a water dispenser with one of those hot taps for making tea, so I can quickly pour the perfect mix of hot and cold to achieve room temperature. On the far side of the stage, I think I see one.
 
It’s right behind a competing a cappella group.
 
But they’re not doing any last-minute vocal warm-ups.
 
They’re too busy pointing, laughing, and making fun of Dad and his singers!
 
 

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Shine! 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
onemused 9 days ago
SHINE! is an absolutely beautiful story about deciding who you want to be, kindness, and finding your own path. Piper Milly is the daughter of an aspiring musician who dreams of writing and producing his own musical but teaches middle school choir to make ends meet. After his a capella group wins a big competition, he is offered a newly vacated job at the fancy private school, Chumley Prep. As part of the deal, he gets free tuition for Piper, which he eagerly accepts. Piper is not sure how she feels about going to this new school, but she is eager to make her father happy. After she arrives, she learns that she not only has a bully in another student, but also a wonderful group of like-minded friends. When a teacher challenges them to think of who they want to be- now, not just when they grow up- Piper begins to think carefully about who she does or doesn't want to be. Along the way, Piper reiterates the value of doing the right thing, helping others, and of having friends and family. She also learns to empathize with her bully. This story is really beautiful, and I would highly recommend for even younger middle grade readers. Piper is a fantastic character- and I really love that she was STEM oriented plus an all-around amazing person. The end of the story was beyond perfect, and I'll admit that I cried some happy tears. Pick up this book! You won't regret it. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.
onemused 9 days ago
SHINE! is an absolutely beautiful story about deciding who you want to be, kindness, and finding your own path. Piper Milly is the daughter of an aspiring musician who dreams of writing and producing his own musical but teaches middle school choir to make ends meet. After his a capella group wins a big competition, he is offered a newly vacated job at the fancy private school, Chumley Prep. As part of the deal, he gets free tuition for Piper, which he eagerly accepts. Piper is not sure how she feels about going to this new school, but she is eager to make her father happy. After she arrives, she learns that she not only has a bully in another student, but also a wonderful group of like-minded friends. When a teacher challenges them to think of who they want to be- now, not just when they grow up- Piper begins to think carefully about who she does or doesn't want to be. Along the way, Piper reiterates the value of doing the right thing, helping others, and of having friends and family. She also learns to empathize with her bully. This story is really beautiful, and I would highly recommend for even younger middle grade readers. Piper is a fantastic character- and I really love that she was STEM oriented plus an all-around amazing person. The end of the story was beyond perfect, and I'll admit that I cried some happy tears. Pick up this book! You won't regret it. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.