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Counting by 7s

Counting by 7s

Book - 2013
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Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.
Publisher: New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, c2013.
ISBN: 9780803738553
Branch Call Number: XF SLOAN, HOLLY
Characteristics: 380 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Counting by sevens


From the critics

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Mar 08, 2021

Willow Chance is just a little bit different. Unlike most other twelve-year-olds, she is obsessed with medicine and is a master gardener to boot. One day when she arrives home from school she is met with a tragedy no child should ever have to experience. Willow's vulnerability, strength and charm as she struggles to make sense of the changes ahead of her, and her ability to draw kindred spirits into her orbit, are heartwarming. I initially checked this book out for my 11-year-old daughter. Though it didn't immediately grab her, it ended up being me who read it to fulfill a category in 2021's Read Harder challenge.

Jan 26, 2021

A delightful read, for adults or teens.

JCLHeatherM Jan 03, 2020

A thought provoking book about the changes and stages of life and the importance of family (the one you are born with and the one that you form along the way). Author Holly Goldberg Sloan doesn't shy away from tough topics but rather tackles various forms of heartache with empathy and sincerity. There's also a variety of methods for coping with life, even counting by 7's.

Aug 26, 2019

I absolutely love the storyline; it brings tears and laughs and makes you fall in love with all the characters right from the start! There are so many morals that stick out, but one that I enjoyed was that unexpected changes might be hard at first, but you are going to make it through. The only fault that I have with this book is that it was a little confusing, it kept switching from the first-person point of view to third-person omniscient, then from past-tense to future-tense to current. It took me half-way through the book to realize it is a pattern. I have read many books, and have never seen a set-up like that, so maybe it was just my first-time experience that made it difficult to understand. Besides that, I would recommend this book to anyone. I am no experienced book review person since I am young, so many might not have my same thoughts.
Thank you.

Jul 30, 2019

A very touching story of a girl(Willow Chance) After her parents death.


The novel “Counting by 7s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan is about a seemingly odd girl, Willow Chance, who struggles to fit in to a new school due to her giftedness and difference in interests. She starts meeting with a school counselor named Dell Duke who tries to put her in a box but is mystified by her, and she forms a gradual friendship with Mai, the sister of one of Dell’s other counselees (Quang-ha). Soon after, Willow goes home to find that both of her parents- her anchors in a new environment- have been killed in a car accident, changing everything and throwing her into an uncertain world. This book was one of my favorites during middle school because of its plain language and round characters. The bossiness of Mai, Quang-ha, and their mom, and the compelling, sometimes hilarious, situations that resulted in their actions led me to admire and connect with them and how they took charge of their world. I especially liked how the author used Willow to pose an interesting discussion of giftedness and show how it is often misunderstood or seen as an inconvenience. I believe this is a real situation that many gifted kids face- and a discussion that needs to happen. One aspect that may be frustrating to a reader is how at the start, Willow doesn’t speak up for herself and lets others put her in a box. However, she learns to assert herself more and stand up for what she wants and needs with the encouragement of her new family. Overall, I would give this book a 4/5 stars. Elena of the Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

Jun 30, 2019

This book is about many things. It’s about lifestyle changes. It’s about the families we make for ourselves. It’s about what we all do to get through tough times and how we do it. And it’s about the unexpected changes that take place in your life, and as Pattie says nothing is certain. Everything is temporary in it’s own way. But that’s what makes it what it is. An ever changing garden that could be seen as a lot of different things through the minds of different people. It’s a great book and I fully recommend it.

Sep 25, 2018

Loved. Genius girl suffers loss of family, but finds her place again. Excellent writing. Funny even with sad parts.

Jul 19, 2018

This book is very touchable, Willow is a person with a distinct personality, she's different, but her story will make you have mixed emotions. Willow shares her interests towards her friends and the people who understand her the most. She has learned the hard way, no matter how much Willow Chance went through, life still goes on.

Jul 04, 2018

This book is very emotional. Im starting off by that sentence because there were dozens of scenes where you have to stay put to not start tearing up. I don't recommend this book to ages 10 and under because it is seriously melancholy. Anyway, It's a very beautiful story but also very saddening so beware! ;)

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Add Age Suitability
Nov 05, 2020

green_snake_2003 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 12

Jun 06, 2019

blue_kangaroo_639 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 70

Feb 09, 2019

FaithR thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 19

Jul 13, 2018

anglem123 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 13

violet_butterfly_8881 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 12

Feb 19, 2018

natulik1 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 09, 2017

indigo_bear_253 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Sep 24, 2016

brcandon thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Jul 05, 2016

janice8001 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 23, 2015

blue_llama_238 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 15

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Jul 10, 2016

I am silent.

Aug 05, 2015

Science is AWESOME!!!!
-main character

May 31, 2015

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.

JCLChrisK Mar 18, 2014

Patti says that nothing is for certain.

That is the truest statement I've ever heard.

JCLChrisK Mar 18, 2014

I will see only what I want to see.

It's possible that's how people get through crisis.

The world where we live is so much in our head.

JCLChrisK Mar 18, 2014

I want to see this lady out the front gate and into her car and off the street and out of town and then removed from the county and then the whole state and finally relocated to the place they call Tornado Alley in Kansas.

JCLChrisK Mar 18, 2014

All reality . . . is a blender where hopes and dreams are mixed with fear and despair.

JCLChrisK Mar 18, 2014

No matter how hard they try, other people do not understand because I'm incapable of communication.

And that is why the deepest form of pain comes out as silence.

JCLChrisK Mar 18, 2014

She is like me.


I admire that in a person. The ability to keep your mouth shut is usually a sign of intelligence.

Introspection requires you to think and analyze.

It's hard to do that when you are blabbing away.

JCLChrisK Mar 18, 2014

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.


Add a Summary
Sep 02, 2015

Willow is adopted but after her parents death she started not to care about how she was when her parents were alive

Aug 05, 2015

awesome book!

irish505050 Jun 05, 2015

A smart girl named Willow, who is adopted, is heartbroken after her parents die. She has no family near, so she finds new friends.

Jul 21, 2014

This book is amazing. Willow is an odd girl. She is incredibly smart, and is interested in different things than everyone else in her grade. Her mind is advanced and talented. Willow must deal with disaster, and make something out of it. She has to grow a new beginning.


Add Notices
Aug 05, 2015

Other: parents die

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