Random House Books for Young Readers Back to the Bright Before
Random House Books for Young Readers Back to the Bright Before

Back to the Bright Before

By Katherin Nolte


Publication Date: May 30, 2023

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Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7

A magical adventure about two brave siblings determined to find a treasure that could save their family.

When eleven-year-old Pet Martin’s dad falls from a ladder on their family farm, it isn’t just his body that crashes to the ground. So does every hope her family had for the future. Money is scarce, and Pet’s mom is bone-tired from waiting tables at the local diner, and even with the extra hours, it’s not enough for a third surgery for Pet’s dad. Her five-year-old brother, Simon, now refuses to say anything except the word “cheese.” Worst of all? The ladder accident was Pet’s fault.

She’s determined to fix things—but how? Good old-fashioned grit…and maybe a little bit of magic. 

When a neighbor recites a poem about an ancient coin hidden somewhere on the grounds of the local abbey, Pet forms a plan. With her brother, a borrowed chicken, and a stolen pony, Pet runs away from home. If she can find the coin, Daddy can have his surgery, Momma can stop her constant working, and Simon might speak again. But Pet isn't the only one who wants the coin…which means searching for it is more dangerous than she ever imagined. 

This dazzling debut novel filled with magic, family, and adventure is sure to be an instant classic.

About the Author

Katherin Nolte received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in dozens of publications and won multiple awards, but it was a late-night ER visit with her four children that inspired her to write Back to the Bright Before. An Ohio native, she currently lives with her family in Iowa.

Author Residence: Iowa City

Format: Hardcover

Length: 208 pages

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 30, 2023

ISBN: 9780593565100

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