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Counting by 7s
Counting by 7s
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
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 tragi...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780142422861
ISBN-10: 014242286X
Publication Date: 9/16/2014
Pages: 416
Edition: Reprint
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.

4.8 stars, based on 8 ratings
Publisher: Puffin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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sslowe avatar reviewed Counting by 7s on + 80 more book reviews
What a beautiful story. Be prepared to cry.
VolunteerVal avatar reviewed Counting by 7s on + 590 more book reviews
I rarely read middle grade novels (they just don't interest me), but I listened to Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan because the author was giving a talk in our area. Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend her event due to work, but I'm still glad I experienced this novel.

The contemporary novel centers around Willow Chance, a 12-year-old girl likely on the autism spectrum. She's brilliant, loves nature, often diagnoses random medical conditions, and counts by 7s to ease her anxiety. She loves her life, but when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, Willow is completely alone and adrift in the world. Finding community in the most unlikely places, she gradually finds her equilibrium and happiness again.

Overall, I liked this novel. The intensity of emotions surprised me for a MG story, and this fits into my unintentional theme of novels dealing with the grief process.

I had to suspend belief often; some of the characters' actions (and others' willingness to accept them) were fairly outrageous. But I enjoyed the way Willow, being her authentic self, connected with one character that led to eventually include so many more from all walks of life, and all of their lives were enhanced in the process.

The author visited our area for a One Community Reads event under the theme "The World is Your Garden" and the plot includes some of Willow's love of nature but not as consistently as I anticipated for a book selected to fit this theme. I especially liked her efforts to create a sunflower garden.

The audiobook is narrated by Robin Miles who is fantastic in conveying Willow's unique spirit and portraying the cast of secondary characters.