Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of Out of My Mind
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.
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
* "A lovely and captivating debut . . . nuanced characters engage from beginning to end."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Holczer expertly crafts the characters and dialogue to create a story readers will identify with, and thoroughly enjoy."--School Library Journal, starred review
"Grace's surprising discoveries about herself, her family, her friends, and her struggles with sorrow and forgivenes, are engrossing."--Kirkus Reviews
"Tracy Holczer's story is a lyric about love and loss and not being able to find your future until you've uncovered your past."--Newbery winning author Richard Peck
"Grace's story will steal your heart as she travels toward friendship, love and a place to belong."--Newbery Honor winning author Patricia Reilly Giff
"A lovely story of longing for closeness, adn learning about what it means to be family. Poetic and tender."--Newbery Honor winning author Margarita Engle
About the Author
Holly Goldberg Sloan 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. Counting by 7s, her first middle-grade novel, was a New York Times Bestseller. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California.