Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting by 7’s is a touching story about Willow Chance, a 12-year-old girl with an exceptional mind. She’s a genius and looks at the world differently. She notices details that others might not notice and is particularlconting-byy interested in nature and medicine. This however, does not make her a lot of friends at school. Her safe world is at home in her garden or at the library. One of the tricks she uses to calm her nerves is to count by 7’s—her favorite number.

Then, her world comes crashing down when an unspeakable tragedy occurs. The tragedy leads to a chain of events involving one friend and several acquaintances—a vietnamese family, a social worker, a taxi driver. Willow is soft spoken but has a way of inspiring other people to accept new ideas.  These misfit characters change for the better when they pretend to be Willow’s surrogate family. Slowly, they evolve into a real family.

I love how the author takes you through Willow’s story, but at no point do you know the fate of this little girl . . . until the very end. It’s an emotional story and great middle grade book about the true meaning of family.

Great news! The book is going to be made into a move staring oscar-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis as Willow Chance. I can’t wait.


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