Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Genre: Young adult fiction
Synopsis: 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.
Review: This book is all about characters and their developments and relationships. Willow is a quirky girl who is brilliant but has no friends. Dell is her school therapist who is quirky in his own way too and one that doesn't seem to care much about anything. Willow finds unlikely friends in Mai, Quang-ha, Patti, Jairo, and Dell who help her move past the grief of her parents dying and discover the meaning of family, friendship and love. Readers are drawn into this story and feel such pain for Willow but also can see how she helps bring other people to together in unexpected ways.
Rating: 4 stars