Counting by 7s

( 30 )

Overview

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive ...

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Counting by 7s

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Overview

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.
 
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

“Holly Goldberg Sloan writes about belonging in a way I’ve never quite seen in any other book. This is a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming novel that I’ll never forget.”—John Corey Whaley, author of Where Things Come Back

"Willow Chance subtly drew me into her head and her life, so much so that I was holding my breath for her by the end. Holly Goldberg Sloan has created distinct characters who will stay with you long after you finish the book."—Sharon Creech, Newbery Award-winning author of Walk Two Moons

"In achingly beautiful prose, Holly Goldberg Sloan has written a delightful tale of transformation that’s a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory. Counting by 7s is a triumph."—Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
 
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Willow Chance is an extremely precocious and analytical 12-year-old “genius,” and she doesn’t fit in with other kids (though she’d doubtlessly find a kindred spirit in Lauren Tarshis’s Emma-Jean Lazarus). Despite Willow’s social difficulties, she makes an impression on everyone around her—whether it’s Dell Duke, a lonely and ineffectual school district counselor, or Jairo Hernandez, the taxi driver Willow hires to drive her to her meetings with Dell. After Willow’s parents die in a car crash, her new friend Mai Nguyen persuades her mother to take Willow in; despite the Nguyens’ poverty, their makeshift home and open arms help bring Willow back from the void. As in Sloan’s I’ll Be There, the narration shifts among multiple viewpoints, from Willow’s cerebral first-person perspective to third-person chapters that demonstrate how her presence is transformational to those around her, young and old. But while elements of Willow’s story are indeed extraordinary and even inspirational, Sloan’s somewhat portentous storytelling gets in the way of letting readers reach their own conclusions about the ways people save each other. Ages 10–up. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Aug.)
Booklist
“A graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss.”—(starred review)
The Horn Book
“What sets this novel apart from the average orphan-finds-a-home book is its lack of sentimentality, its truly multicultural cast (Willow describes herself as a “person of color”; Mai and Quang-ha are of mixed Vietnamese, African American, and Mexican ancestry), and its tone. . . . Poignant.”—(starred review)
Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
Willow Chance finds it hard to find her niche in the social network of middle school. A twelve-year-old genius who spends her time gardening and diagnosing medical conditions, and who calms herself down counting by 7s is bound to be a social outcast, but she is happy living a quiet, simple life with her parents who accept and encourage her differences. That is, until one day, her categorized world is turned upside down when her parents are involved in a fatal car crash that leaves Willow an orphan with no relatives to turn to. Suddenly, everything is devoid of meaning. In a beautifully written story, Sloane weaves a tale of unexpected family and belonging that will change anyone's opinion of what it means to be a part of something. This novel is not for everyone, as younger and inexperienced readers will struggle to connect early on with Willow and her idiosyncrasies. Those that take the time to engage in her story will be rewarded with a heartwarming ending. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
School Library Journal
★ 09/01/2013
Gr 5–8—Twelve-year-old Willow Chase lived with her adoptive parents in Bakersfield, California. There in the midst of the high desert, she grew a garden in her backyard, her sanctuary. She was excited about starting a new school, hoping this time she might fit in, might find a friend. Willow had been identified in preschool as highly gifted, most of the time causing confusion and feelings of ineptness in her teachers. Now at her new school she is accused of cheating because no one has ever finished the state proficiency test in just 17 minutes, let alone gotten a perfect score. Her reward is behavioral counseling with Dell Duke, an ineffectual counselor with organizational and social issues of his own. She does make a friend when Mai Nguyen brings her brother, Quang-ha, to his appointment, and their lives begin to intertwine when Willow's parents are killed in an auto accident. For the second time in her life she is an orphan, forced to find a "new normal." She is taken in temporarily by Mai's mother, who must stay ahead of Social Services. While Willow sees herself as just an observer, trying to figure out the social norms of regular family life, she is actually a catalyst for change, bringing together unsuspecting people and changing their lives forever. The narration cleverly shifts among characters as the story evolves. Willow's philosophical and intellectual observations contrast with Quang-ha's typical teenage boy obsessions and the struggles of a Vietnamese family fighting to live above the poverty level. Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family will stay in readers' hearts long after the last page.—Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH
Kirkus Reviews
A story of renewal and belonging that succeeds despite, not because of, its contrivances. Twelve-year-old genius Willow Chance was adopted as an infant by her "so white" parents (Willow is mixed race) and loses them both in one afternoon in a convenient (plotwise) car accident. Outside of her parents, she has a hard time making friends since her mishmash of (also convenient, plotwise) interests--disease, plants and the number seven--doesn't appeal to her fellow middle-grade students. Losing her parents propels her on her hero's-journey quest to find belonging. Along the way, her fate intertwines with those of a confident high school girl named Mai and her surly brother, Quang-ha; their energetic, manicure-salon–owning mother, Pattie (formerly Dung); Jairo Hernandez, a taxi driver with an existential crisis; and a failure of a school counselor named Dell Duke. With these characters' ages running the gamut from 12 to high school to mid-30s and their voices included in a concurrent third-person narration along with Willow's precise, unemotional first-person narration, readers may well have a hard time engaging. Relying heavily on serendipity--a technique that only adds, alas, to the "leave no stone unturned" feeling of the story--the plot resolves in a bright and heartfelt, if predictable conclusion. Despite its apparent desire to be all things to all people, this is, in the end, an uplifting story. (Fiction. 10-14)
Horn Book

Praise for Counting by 7s:

• “A graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss.”—Booklist starred review
 

• “What sets this novel apart from the average orphan-finds-a-home book is its lack of sentimentality, its truly multicultural cast (Willow describes herself as a “person of color”; Mai and Quang-ha are of mixed Vietnamese, African American, and Mexican ancestry), and its tone. . . . Poignant.”—The Horn Book starred review
 

• “Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family will stay in readers' hearts long after the last page.”— School Library Journal starred review
 
“In a beautifully written story, Sloane weaves a tale of unexpected family and belonging that will change anyone's opinion of what it means to be a part of something.” —Children's Literature

Accolades for Holly Goldberg Sloan:
 
Best Books for Young Adults
Three starred reviews (Horn Book, SLJ, VOYA)
Children's Literature Council of Southern California Award for best YA Fiction
Los Angeles Library Best Book For Teens
Milwaukee County Teen Book Finalist
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
Field Family Teen Author Pick (Free Public Library Philadelphia)
South Dakota Young Adult Reading Program Masterlist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803738553
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/29/2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 819
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Holly Goldberg Sloan  (www.hollygoldbergsloan.com), the acclaimed author of I’ll Be There, was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent her childhood living in Holland, Istanbul, Turkey, Washington DC, Berkeley, California and Eugene, Oregon. After graduating from Wellesley College and spending some time as an advertising copywriter, she began writing and directing family feature films, including Angels in the Outfield and Made in America. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California.
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Read an Excerpt

chapter 1

willow chance

A genius shoots at something no
one else can see, and hits it.

We sit together outside the Fosters Freeze at a sea-green, metal picnic table.

All four of us.

We eat soft ice cream, which has been plunged into a vat of liquid chocolate (that then hardens into a crispy shell).

I don’t tell anyone that what makes this work is wax. Or to be more accurate: edible, food-grade paraffin wax.

As the chocolate cools, it holds the vanilla goodness prisoner.

Our job is to set it free.

Ordinarily, I don’t even eat ice-cream cones. And if I do, I obsess in such a precise way as to prevent even a drop of disorder.

But not today.

I’m in a public place.

I’m not even spying.

And my ice-cream cone is a big, drippy mess.

I’m right now someone that other people might find interesting to observe.

Why?

Well first of all, I’m speaking Vietnamese, which is not my “native tongue.”

I really like that expression because in general, I think people don’t give this contracting muscle credit for how much work it does.

So thank you, tongue.

Sitting here, shaded by the afternoon sun, I’m using my Vietnamese whenever I can, which turns out to be often. I’m talking to my new friend Mai, but even her always-surly and scary-because-he’s-older big brother, Quang-ha, says a few words to me in their now only semi-
secret language.

Dell Duke, who brought us here in his car, is quiet.

He does not speak Vietnamese.

I do not like to exclude people (I’m the one who is always excluded, so I know how that feels), but I’m okay with Mr. Duke being an observer. He is a school coun­selor and listening is a big part of counseling.

Or at least it should be.

Mai does the lion’s share of the speaking and eating (I give her my cone once I’ve had enough), and all I know for certain, with the sun on our faces and the sweet ice cream holding our attention, is that this is a day that I will never forget.

Seventeen minutes after our arrival, we are back in Dell Duke’s car.

Mai wants to drive by Hagen Oaks, which is a park. Big geese live there year-round. She thinks I should see them.

Because she’s two years older than me, she falls into that trap of thinking all little kids want to stare at some­thing like fat ducks.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate waterfowl.

But in the case of Hagen Oaks Park, I’m more inter­ested in the city’s decision to plant native plants than I am in the birds.

I think by the look on Dell’s face (I can see his eyes in the rearview mirror) that he’s not very excited about either thing, but he drives by the park anyway.

Quang-ha is slumped in the seat and I’m guessing is just happy that he didn’t have to take a bus anywhere.

At Hagen Oaks, no one gets out of the car, because Dell says we need to go home.

When we first got to the Fosters Freeze, I called my mom to explain that I’d be late getting back from school. When she didn’t answer, I left a message.

I did the same thing on my dad’s cell phone.

It’s strange that I haven’t heard from either of them.

If they can’t answer the phone, they always quickly return my call.

Always.

There is a police car parked in the driveway of my house when Dell Duke turns onto my street.

The neighbors to the south of us moved out and their place is in foreclosure. A sign on the dead front lawn says bank owned.

To the north are renters who I have only seen once 7 months and four days ago, which was on the day that they arrived.

I stare at the police car and wonder if someone broke into the vacant house.

Didn’t Mom say it was trouble to have an empty place in the neighborhood?

But that wouldn’t explain why the police are in our driveway.

As we get closer I can see that there are two officers in the patrol car. And from the way they are slouched, it seems like they’ve been there a while. I feel my whole body tense.

In the front seat, Quang-ha says:

“What are the cops doing in your driveway?”

Mai’s eyes dart from her brother back to me. The expression on her face now looks to be a question.

I think she wonders if my dad steals things, or if I have a cousin who hits people. Maybe I come from a whole family of troublemakers?

We don’t know each other very well, so these would all be possibilities.

I’m silent.

I’m late coming home. Did my mom or my dad get so worried that they called the police?

I left them messages.

I told them that I was okay.

I can’t believe that they would do such a thing.

Dell Duke doesn’t even have the car completely stopped before I open the door, which is of course dangerous.

I get out and head toward my house, not even both­ering with my red rolling luggage that’s packed with my schoolwork.

I’ve taken only two steps into the driveway before the door opens on the patrol car and a female officer appears. The woman has a thick ponytail of orange-colored hair. She doesn’t say hello. She just lowers her sunglasses and says:

“Do you know Roberta and James Chance?”

I try to answer, but my voice won’t come out any louder than a whisper:

“Yes.”

I want to add: “But it’s Jimmy Chance. No one calls my dad James.”

But I can’t.

The officer fumbles with her sunglasses. Even though she is dressed the part, the woman seems to be losing all of her authority.

She mumbles:

“Okay . . . And you are . . .? ”

I swallow, but my mouth is suddenly dry and I feel a lump form in my throat.

“I’m their daughter . . .”

Dell Duke is out of the car now and he has my luggage with him as he starts across the sidewalk. Mai is right at his heels. Quang-ha stays put.

The second officer, a younger man, then comes around and stands next to his partner. But neither of them speaks.

Just silence.

Horrible silence.

And then the two police officers turn their attention to Dell. They both look anxious. The female officer manages to say:

“And where do you fit in . . .? ”

Dell clears his throat. He suddenly looks like he’s sweating from every gland in his body. He is barely able to speak:

“I’m Dell D-D-Duke. I work as a c-c-counselor for the school district. I see two of these k-k-kids for counseling. I’m just d-d-driving them home.”

I can see that both officers are instantly relieved.

The female officer begins nodding, showing support and almost enthusiasm as she says:

“A counselor? So she heard?”

I find enough of a voice to ask:

“Heard what?”

But neither of the police will look at me. They are all about Dell now.

“Can we have a word with you, sir?”

I watch Dell’s sweaty wet hand release from the black vinyl luggage handle, and he follows the officers as they move away from me, away from the patrol car, and out to the still-hot pavement of the street.

Standing there, they huddle together with their backs turned so that as I watch, they look, lit by the low, end-of-the-day sun, like an evil, three-headed monster.

And that’s what they are because their voices, while muffled, are still capable of being understood.

I clearly hear four words:

“There’s been an accident.”

And after that in whispers comes the news that the two people I love most in the world are gone forever.

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

No.

I need to rewind.

I want to go back.

Will anyone go with me?

chapter 2

two months ago

I’m about to start a new school.

I’m an only child.

I’m adopted.

And I’m different.

As in strange.

But I know it and that takes the edge off. At least for me.

Is it possible to be loved too much?

My

Two

Parents

Really

Truly

L-O-V-E

Me.

I think waiting a long time for something makes it more gratifying.

The correlation between expectation and delivery of desire could no doubt be quantified into some kind of mathematical formula.

But that’s off the point, which is one of my problems and why despite the fact that I’m a thinker, I’m never the teacher’s pet.

Ever.

Right now I’m going to stick to the facts.

For 7 years my mom tried to get pregnant.

That seems like a long time of working at something, since the medical definition of infertility is twelve months of well-timed physical union without any results.

And while I have a passion for all things medical, the idea of them doing that, especially with any kind of regu­larity and enthusiasm, makes me feel nauseated (as medi­cally defined, an unpleasant sensation in the abdomen).

Twice in those years my mom peed on a plastic wand, and turned the diagnostic instrument blue.

But twice she couldn’t keep the fetus. (How onomato­poetic is that word? Fetus. Insane.)

Her cake failed to bake.

And that’s how I came into the mix.On the 7th day of the 7th month (is it any wonder I love the number?) my new parents drove north to a hos­pital 257 miles from their home, where they named me after a cold-climate tree and changed the world.

Or at least our world.

Time out. It probably wasn’t 257 miles, but that’s how I need to think of it. (2 + 5 = 7. And 257 is a prime num­ber. Super-special. There is order in my universe.)

Back to adoption day. As my dad explains it, I never once cried, but my mom did all the way down Interstate Five South until exit 17B.

My mom weeps when she’s happy. When she’s sad, she’s just quiet.

I believe that her emotional wiring got crossed in this area. We deal with it because most of the time she’s smil­ing. Very wide.

When my two new parents finally made it to our single-
story, stucco house in a development at the end of the San Joaquin Valley, their nerves were both shot.

And our family adventure had just begun.

I think it’s important to get pictures of things in your head. Even if they are wrong. And they pretty much always are. If you could see me, you would say that I don’t fit into an easily identifiable ethnic category.

I’m what’s called “a person of color.”

And my parents are not.

They are two of the whitest white people in the world (no exaggeration).

They are so white, they are almost blue. They don’t have circulation problems; they just don’t have much pigment.

My mom has fine, red hair and eyes that are pale, pale, pale blue. So pale they look gray. Which they are not.

My dad is tall and pretty much bald. He has seborrheic dermatitis, which means that his skin appears to be con­stantly in a state of rash.

This has led to a great deal of observation and research on my part, but for him it is no picnic.

If you are now picturing this trio and considering us together, I want you to know that while I don’t in any way resemble my parents, somehow we just naturally look like a family.

At least I think so.

And that’s all that really matters.

Besides the number 7, I have two other major obses­sions. Medical conditions. And plants.

By medical conditions, I mean human disease.

I study myself, of course. But my illnesses have been minor and not life-threatening.

I do observe and chronicle my mom and dad, but they will not let me do much diagnostic work on their behalf.

The only reason that I regularly leave the house (not counting going to the forced-prison-camp also known as middle school and my weekly trip to the central library) is to observe sickness in the general population.

It would always be my first choice to sit for several hours every day in a hospital, but it turns out that nursing staffs have a problem with that.

Even if you’re just camped out in a waiting room pretending to read a book.

So I visit the local shopping mall, which fortunately has its share of disease.

But I don’t buy things.

Since I was little, I’ve kept field notes and made diagnostic flash cards.

I am particularly drawn to skin disorders, which I photograph only if the subject (and one of my parents) isn’t looking.

My second interest: plants.

They are living, growing, reproducing, pushing and pulling in the ground all around us at all times.

We accept that without even noticing.

Open your eyes, people.

This is amazing.

If plants made sounds, it would all be different. But they communicate with color and shape and size and tex­ture.

They don’t meow or bark or tweet.

We think they don’t have eyes, but they see the angle of the sun and the rise of the moon. They don’t just feel the wind; they change directions because of it.

Before you think I’m crazy (which is always a possibil­ity), look outside.

Right now.

I’m hoping that your view isn’t of a parking lot or the side of a building.

I’m imagining you see a tall tree with delicate leaves. You catch sight of swaying grass in a wide field. Weeds pushing up through a crack in the sidewalk are in the distance somewhere. We are surrounded.

I’m asking you to pay attention in a new way and view it all as being Alive.

With a capital A.

My hometown, like a lot of the central valley of Califor­nia, has a desert climate and is flat and dry and very hot for over half of the year.

Since I’ve never lived anywhere else, whole months of days where it’s 100 degrees outside seems normal.

We call it summer.

Despite the heat, there is no escaping the fact that the bright sun and rich soil make the area ideal for growing things once you add water to the equation.

And I did.

So where once our house had a rectangle of grass, there is now a forty-foot-high stand of timber bamboo.

I have citrus trees (orange, grapefruit, and lime) next to my year-round vegetable garden.

I grow grapes, a variety of vines, annual and perennial flowers, and, in one small area, tropical plants.

To know me is to know my garden.

It is my sanctuary.

It’s sort of tragic that we can’t remember the earliest of the early years.

I feel as if these memories could be the key to the whole “Who am I?” question.

What was my first nightmare about?

How did the first step really feel?

What was the decision-making process when it came time to ditch the diapers? I’ve got some toddler memories, but my first sequence recall is kindergarten; no matter how hard I’ve tried to forget the experience.

My parents said the place was going to be all kinds of fun.

It wasn’t.

The school was only blocks from our house, and it was here that I first committed the crime of questioning the system.

The instructor, Mrs. King, had just plowed her way through a popular picture book. It featured the hallmarks of most pre-school literature: repetition, some kind of annoying rhyming, and bold-faced scientific lies.

I remember Mrs. King asking the class:

“How does this book make you feel?”

The appropriate answer, as far as she was concerned, was “tired,” because the overly cheery instructor forced us to lie down on sticky rubber mats for twenty minutes after “lunchtime picture book.”

Half of the class usually fell deeply asleep.

I remember distinctly a boy named Miles twice pee­ing his pants, and, with the exception of a kid named Garrison (who I’m certain had some sort of restless leg syndrome), everyone else in the room seemed to actually enjoy the horizontal break.

What were these kids thinking? That first week while my classmates dozed off, I obses­sively worried about the hygiene of the linoleum floor.

I can still hear Mrs. King, spine straight and shrill voice booming:

“How does this book make you feel?”

She then made a few exaggerated yawns.

I recall looking around at my fellow inmates, thinking: Would someone, anyone, just shout out the word tired?

I had not uttered a single syllable in my five sessions as a student, and I had no intention of doing so.

But after days of hearing more lies from an adult than I’d been exposed to in my whole lifetime—everything from how fairies cleaned up the classroom at night to insane explanations for earthquake preparedness kits—I was at some kind of breaking point.

So when the teacher specifically said:

“Willow, how does this book make you feel?”

I had to tell the truth:

“It makes me feel really bad. The moon can’t hear some­one say good night; it is two hundred thirty-five thousand miles away. And bunnies don’t live in houses. Also, I don’t think that the artwork is very interesting.”

I bit my lower lip and experienced the metallic taste of blood.

“But really, hearing you read the book makes me feel bad mostly because I know it means you are going to make us lie down on the floor—and germs there could make us sick. There’s a thing called salmonella
and it is very dangerous. Especially to kids.”

That afternoon, I learned the word weirdo because that’s what I was called by the other kids.

When my mom came to pick me up, she found me cry­ing behind the Dumpster in the play yard.

I was taken to see an educational consultant that autumn and the woman did an evaluation. She sent my parents a letter.

I read it.

It said I was “highly gifted.”

Are people “lowly gifted”?

Or “medium gifted”?

Or just “gifted”? It’s possible that all labels are curses. Unless they are on cleaning products.

Because in my opinion it’s not really a great idea to see people as one thing.

Every person has lots of ingredients to make them into what is always a one-of-a-kind creation.

We are all imperfect genetic stews.

According to the consultant, Mrs. Grace V. Mirman, the challenge for the parents of someone “highly gifted” was to find ways to keep the child engaged and stimulated.

But I think she was wrong.

Almost everything interests me.

I can be engaged by the arc of the water in a sprinkler system. I can look through a microscope for a shockingly long period of time.

The challenge for my parents was going to be to find friends who could put up with such a person.

All of this leads to our garden.

Mom and Dad said that they were looking to enrich my life. But I think one thing was obvious from the begin­ning:

Plants can’t talk back.

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  • Posted August 29, 2013

    There are few books I have read that I would describe as 'specia

    There are few books I have read that I would describe as 'special', but Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is one of them. Twelve year old genius Willow Chance insists that her entire life be precisely ordered. She obsessively researches subjects until she masters them, including a current topic on how to form teenage friendships as she faces the beginning of middle school in a few days. Willow's matter of fact world view made me laugh out loud, yet tragedy does strike Willow's "everything in its place" world. I fell in love with the touching group of misfits who come together to form a surrogate family for this very special girl. There's that word again. "Special" is the only way to describe Counting by 7s. Willow Chance will stay with you long after the final page. (10 yrs and up)

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    Great Novel!

    This book is great. It has a lot of pages...about 350 pages, and is just amazing. Its about a girl named Willow Chance who loses her "foster parents" (and there family is really bonded) and is an orphan. She meets Mai and become friends...through the death of her parents and going into foster care. Now, I'm not going to say anymore incase I accidentally give something away, but all I'm going to say is that its definitely worth the money!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    So good

    I LOVE this book! I could not put it down. It takes awhile to read, pperfect for car trips

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2013

    Percy Jackson

    This book is just plain out amazing!!!!

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    The best

    I enjoy this book.like crazy.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Counting by 7's

    This may be the best book l have ever read. Willow Chance is smart, great girl. In the end, she really isn't an orphan. Her family is the people who took care of her.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2013

    The protagonist of this beautiful story, Willow Chance, will sto

    The protagonist of this beautiful story, Willow Chance, will storm the walls of your soul and make it her home. Holly Goldberg Sloan is a writer of immense talent and versatility whose take on an age-old premise makes this book a riveting adventure of the heart. Willow's voice is so unique that you'll ration the story as its pages dwindle. Sloan's prose pirouettes across the page with a depth, wisdom, humor, and range that inspires wonder, and laughter through tears. This instant classic will leave you with a special gratitude for a literary rarity: That moment when a story and teller are so finely matched the resulting book is a key which unlocks the mysteries of the human heart. COUNTING BY 7s will be cherished for many years by young and old alike.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    OMG!!!

    Omg i love this book it is amazing i got it somewhere els for like 6or8 $ but buy it its worth it whoever likes it comment and write on heading "i love counting by sevens" by the way

    HAPPY VALENTINES!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    mm

    So far i have read the summary of the book and i am wonering if i should read this book or not. It sounds like an astonishing great book but yet a sketchy one.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Counting By 7's

    Counting by 7's is a very heartfelt story with saddness and hope. Willow's story is very touching as she finds her way to a new future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2014

    Anonymous

    Reading it for BOB team next year. Cant wait to see how it ends.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    Touching and Beautiful

    Counting by 7s tells the story of 12 year old Willow Chance, a genuis who enjoys plants and skin diseases. She finds it comforting to count by sevens. Willow lives as an outcast from the rest of her middle school, and observes the word analytically. But when Willow comes home to a tragedy, it is then she disvovers her true essence, behind the genius persnality. A wonderful story about hope, love, and famliy. For readers who liked Out of My Mind, Mockingbird, and Wonder. I reccomend to anyone!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    Well written and storyline is something many kids and their parents will want to read

    Without spoiling the story it is about how families sometimes become a family by circumstance and finally, choice. It does a beautiful job of telling the story through the voice of a girl very different from many I have read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Can't wait

    Just started reading it . All ready hooked

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    My new favorite book

    This book is amazing. The characters are perfect, the story is wonderful, and the author is able to write it in such a way so that it all flows together. I highly suggest this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Best book ever

    Iloved it andread 200 pages in onee day!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Willow Chance has just lost everything. Her parents have just di

    Willow Chance has just lost everything. Her parents have just died in a car crash, and she has no friends, being a quiet girl who doesn't make friends too easily. She is overwhelmed with grief. But she isn't. Willow finds a broken family, and they accept her. She takes everything around her and makes it better. And by helping the people around her, she finds herself feeling slowly better about everything.Willow is an amazing character. She is so inspiring and kind, I automatically liked her. She takes the people and things around her and makes everything better. In the mean time, she is also battling herself just as much as the world around her. I also liked a girl named Mai, I think she is my favorite character. She is stubborn and hard-headed (which I can be like at some points) but she is also very caring. I relate her the best.The writing in this book is in first person narration. It was a bit boring, because there was nothing really suspenseful; Not really too much of a conflict.Which is a bit annoying as you all know. That's what brought it down to a 3 star rating. The flow was a bit slow for me, as it was a somewhat childish read. I still did like this book. It was so cute, quick and inspiring. Recommended to teens and pre-teens ages 11-14.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2013

    Counting by 7's is a book that once you start reading, you can't

    Counting by 7's is a book that once you start reading, you can't put it down. It's addicting!

    Why kids will love it - Willow is such a fascinating character; she doesn't behave like normal kids, so the reader never knows what she will do or say.  She is also easy to relate to in her own way and you can't help but want her to find happiness again. At the same time, the other characters are all unique, and reading how they all interact and grow right along with Willow makes for an addicting story.

    What I learned as a writer - Making sure each character is well-rounded, even if they are only minor, is so important. I think that's one of the reasons this book works, each character has been well thought out and it shows.  I also learned that having a surprise at the end of a book, even if it is small, gives such a satisfying ending for the reader. 

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Very touching

    I love its very touching and full of hope and sadniss my sister is in a reading club and this is one of her books i think its touching enoug to make her cry

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    BEST BOOK EVER

    This book will make you laugh cry and basically fangirl because it is so Dan good

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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