Book Blurb: “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.”
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is truly one of the best books I have read in awhile. I had gotten used to young adult fiction and honestly I really enjoy that genre but once and a while after reading only the same genre revolving around the same concepts I get a little bored by it. So I happened upon this book, which was an advanced readers copy and just one of the many books on my bookshelf collecting dust, I grabbed it and started reading.
At first I have to admit I was a little bored by it, just because its not my usual kind of book but Willow with her weirdness just grabbed my attention. I sympathized with her because I was also that little girl who had trouble making friends and was a very very very avid reader. Gradually I found Willow’s weirdness to be endearing and I really can say I enjoyed this book. To me it wasn’t a tragedy and it easily could have been with Willow’s weirdness she could have been bullied and being the child of adoption who is of color with parents that are white yeahhhh this could have gone either way here but I loved that it was a happy ending but not one of those and they lived happily ever after happy endings, it was more of okay she’s with people who understand her she will be content in life and regain and maybe even embrace her weirdness.
Altogether, this is a really strong book and I feel its so great for any genre. I feel like she really made a difference in so many people’s lives without even meaning to. Whether it was a cab driver that felt that he had a dead end career, or a surly Vietnamese woman who raised her children in the garage behind her nail shop, or a therapist who honestly needed a great deal of therapy himself, she really did make a difference to all these people’s lives without even meaning to and its truly poetic in some ways.
A must read for anyone that has ever felt truly weird and also one that has fallen into a slump of reading books that all sound alike.
Five out of five stars definitely!