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Seventh-grader Piper is heartbroken when she learns that she has to leave her public school and begin mid-year at Chumley Prep, the local independent school that has offered her father, a choral teacher who dreams of writing Broadway musicals, a job and a tuition-free spot for his daughter.  Piper’s mother, who passed away when Piper was three, had been a star cellist at the school and the seventh-grader feels the pressure to shine.  As she had expected, Piper initially feels out of place at the school.  Some of the Chumley students are not very welcoming, especially the popular Ainsley who tries to sabotage all of the newcomer’s attempts to thrive at her new school.  When a new award for the student who “most fully demonstrates overall excellence” is announced, many of the students implement strategies to determine how they can exhibit the characteristics that will win this prize that has rather vague criteria.  Piper, who shines primarily in science, has no hopes of being selected but when she wins the school science fair, some of her new friends believe she is a real contender.  Will it be her innate kindness and willingness to help others, however, that gets her noticed and gives her a chance to shine?  Bursting with humor and heart, Shine is a story about finding your place in the world and shining wherever that might be!

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