Book Blog: Counting by 7s

Where do you get recommendations for books to read?  Maybe your recommendations come from me.  Maybe your recommendations come from your teacher.  Maybe your recommendations come from friends.  I get a lot of my recommendations from my friends and acquaintances online.  They start talking about a book that they really liked.  Some of them change their profile pictures to the book cover.  And they start raving to anyone who will listen about how good the book was.  A year and a half ago, that book was Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  And now, there’s Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.  And it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Image Credit: Holly Goldberg Sloan

Image Credit: Holly Goldberg Sloan at Jenna Does Books

Willow Chance is in middle school and definitely does not fit in!  Her clothes are wrong.  Her way of thinking is different.  And, in “17 minutes and 47 seconds,” she scored an absolutely perfect score on a standardized test given to all students (Counting by 7s 35).  Willow Chance is obsessed with the number 7 and two other things: medical conditions and plants (12).  Her life is dominated by those three things until the day that it isn’t, the day that it can’t be, the day that everything around her crashes.  Then, all she has to hold on to is an unlikely friendship with the Nguyen kids and her school counselor, Dell Duke.

Like the extremely popular book Wonder, Counting by 7s doesn’t just tell Willow’s story.  It also jumps from narrator to narrator, broadens the borders of the story by including important insight into other characters, but keeps coming back to Willow’s powerful story of coping with immense sadness and loss.



Title: Counting by 7s
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Illustrator: n/a
Copyright: 2013
ISBN: 978-0803738553
Dewey: 813
Reading Range: Grade 5-8. Ages 10 and up.
Curriculum Connection: This book could be used by an upper elementary or early middle school teacher as a classroom read-aloud with potential for conversations about differences, unlikely friendships, and coping with trauma.  I see the potential for conversations in regards to Child Safety training that we do because of a character who exhibits indicators of potential child abuse.  I can also see it being a popular individual read for those who liked Wonder, Because of Mr. Terupt, or Mockingbird.

Works Cited

Goldberg Sloan, Holly. “Blog Tour: Counting by 7s with Holly Goldberg Sloan.” Jenna Does Books. N.p., 9 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.

Goldberg Sloan, Holly. Counting by 7s. New York: Dial for Young Readers, 2013. Ebook.


About msbecs

An incomplete but alphabetical list: Believer. Daughter. Friend. Learner. Librarian. Sister. TCK. Teacher. YA Literature Devotee.

Posted on 10.16.2013, in FPU, In the Library, Middle School, Reading. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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