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A hopeful novel about love, disability, and the inevitability of change by the author of Give Me a Sign.

“Poignant, romantic, and deeply heartfelt.” —Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be

Ellie’s Deaf boarding school just shut down, forcing her to leave the place she considered home and return to her hearing family. But being mainstreamed into public school isn't exactly easy. So her guidance counselor pairs her with Jackson, a student who’s supposed to help her adjust. Can the boy who tries to say the right things, and gets it all wrong, be the lifeline Ellie needs?

Jackson has been avoiding his teammates ever since some numbness in his legs cost them an important soccer match. With his senior year off to a lonely start, he’s intrigued when he’s asked to help the new girl, initially thinking it will be a commendable move on his part. Little does he know Ellie will soon be the person he wants most by his side when the strange symptoms he’s experiencing amount to a life-changing diagnosis.

Exploring what it means to build community, Anna Sortino pens a story about the fear of the unknown and the beauty of the unexpected, all wrapped up in a poignant romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.

"Tender, honest, and utterly human." —Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Praise for On the Bright Side

★ "This story is, most simply put, a sweet, well-written romance with just a touch of drama for excitement. The book never feels preachy or lags narratively in the interest of didacticism, yet it also tells a meaningful story about ableism, audism, and self-determination.... That said, what the characters go through avoids any whiff of exploitative “inspiration,” and the story leaves plenty of room for Sortino to explore differing experiences of disability....A skillfully executed, nuanced, and engaging book." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

On the Bright Side is a poignant, romantic, and deeply heartfelt story of resilience in the face of life’s most challenging and unpredictable circumstances—and how love can be the thing that sees us through. You will be thinking about Ellie and Jackson long after you’ve turned the last page.” 
Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be and The Way I Am Now

"Tender, honest, and utterly human, On the Bright Side is a sparkling story that reminds us to live life on our own terms, even when it throws us a curveball." —Adib Khorram, award-winning author of Darius the Great Is Not Okay

"[Ellie and Jackson’s] sweet courtship leans into missteps and aching human moments in this empathetic romance that intricately depicts Deaf and disabled experiences." —Publishers Weekly

  • Pages: 320 Pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Imprint: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN: 9780593697863
Penguin Teen