KDL Recommends > Staff Picks > January 2014

KDL Recommends

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Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s

ISBN: 0803738552

Title: Counting by 7s

Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan

KDL Description:


Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan introduces you to Willow Chance, a 12-year-old misfit genius grappling with the overpowering loss of both her parents, but who somehow manages to unite and inspire everyone around her. This book defies categorization as it touches on a vast array of issues, but it handles them tenderly and with such humor and heart that you won’t be able to put it down. The audio version is very well done, too.”—Vanessa at KDL’s East Grand Rapids branch

Amazon Description:

An AMAZON Best Book of the Year 2013.  A Kids’ Indie Next List Top Ten Book—#4, Best Books of Autumn 2013.  B.E.A. Buzz Book Award 2013.  A Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee 2014-2015 Master List.  A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.  A NYTimes bestseller.

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.

“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

“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