Counting by 7s

by Holly Goldberg Sloan (2013)

Willow Chance is twelve years old. She adores learning new languages, researching rare medical conditions, and she has a knack for gardening. Willow is also a genius. She finds comfort in counting by sevens… She counts minutes.  She counts flax seeds in her breakfast.  She counts jelly beans in a glass container – but always by sevens. Willow has lost two sets of parents – twice. Willow never knew her real parents, and her adoptive family is killed in a tragic car accident.

How can a young girl get by with no one to take care of her? That’s easy – with the help of a new, unofficial, and sometimes dysfunctional family.

Counting by 7s is a story of loss, learning, and extraordinary ability. Holly Goldberg Sloan beautifully crafts a novel that not only tugs at its readers’ heartstrings and tells a powerful story, but teaches lessons endless scientific facts along the way…

Did you know: “One infant in one hundred babies is born with moles?”

But you probably did know: “What we expect rarely occurs; what we don’t expect is what happens.”

Her cast of characters is diverse, quirky, and the perfect example of what a group of friends should be – even if it takes them a while to learn to be that way.

Middle school audiences will devour Counting by 7s because it assures and reassures readers that they, too, can survive adversity. You will discover different types of families, explore mental and physical health, and learn how to handle everything that life throws at you right alongside Willow and her friends.

If you’re looking for at title worthwhile and touching, read and share Counting by 7s with your middle school this year.

"Adults and children exchanging ideas about literature is very powerful. It creates a bond between kids, parents, and staff. It creates a school-wide atmosphere for reading. It’s a way to use the community to help foster kids’ imagination."

Mike Poore

Superintendent of Little Rock School District