Review: Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

20140302-140802.jpgI don’t even know where to begin with this one. Counting by 7s was recommended by a friend several weeks ago, and I dutifully added it to my ever-growing but never-diminishing TBR list. Didn’t give it any more thought. Then, several days ago, I was browsing my list and it caught my eye. I went back and read some of the reviews and decided, why not? Now I’m wondering why I waited so long and why everyone isn’t praising this book from the top of every roof.

Willow Chance has always been an unusual child, but that suits her just fine. She adores her parents, and they adore her. She rarely even thinks about the fact that she’s adopted. She loves her books, her garden, and her current obsession with medical conditions. A highly gifted child, she’s never really fit in at school. The teachers just don’t understand her. When she’s accused of cheating on a test, her punishment is meeting with the school counselor. It’s at this point that her comfortable little world comes crashing down when her parents are killed in an automobile accident. What follows is Willow’s journey to find her place in a strange, unfamiliar world all the while relying on the help of strangers.

Written in the same line of thinking as Wonder and Out of My Mind, this book had me hooked from the first sentence. My heart was aching for Willow and the sorrow she had to go through. At the same time, I was filled with admiration for this little girl who persevered in spite of such insurmountable odds. The other characters in this book are no less important and just as enjoyable. I especially loved the transformation of the characters during the course of the story, all because of the impact of one very special little girl. A gruff, lackadaisical school counselor finds himself actually caring. A juvenile delinquent teenage boy begins to find his passion in things other than criminal endeavors. And a misfit group of strangers begins to band together to form a ragtag sort of family. This is the kind of story that will make you laugh at Willow’s quirky sense of humor one minute while crying with heartache for her at the next. This one needs to be at the top of the list for readers both young and old!

~Thalia

Buy it now: Counting by 7s

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