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Sloan, Holly Goldberg.
New York : Dial, 2013
IL5-8, RL 5.1
ISBN 0803738552

(7 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Willow Chance is not your typical 12-year-old girl.  For one thing, she is a genius.  Not just smart but really -- a genius.  When she finishes a standardized test in just a few minutes and gets all the questions right, her teacher is sure she is cheating.  Willow also have few social skills and few friends.  She is obsessed with counting to 7 and diagnosing medical conditions.  Willow is sent to see the school district counselor to talk about the cheating.  The last thing she expected to find was a friend.  When her parents are killed in a tragic car accident, Willow must find the strength to go on and to count on others for comfort.

Booktalk #2

12 yr old Willow Chance is brilliant, quirkie and just a bit obsessed with 7ís when she stresses. Just like her name, life has been Chance. Her first chance was being adopted as a baby. However, all changes when Willowís parents are suddenly lost in a car crash.

Will Willow discover a second chance at happiness? Join Willow as she discovers family takes all forms. Follow her journey as she creates an unusual connection with the most unlikely cast. Could this cast create a new family?

Find out in Counting By 7ís.
   (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)

Booktalk #3

Twelve-year-old Willow lives in Bakersfield, California. She is different, gifted, and adopted. These things donít mean much to Willow, until her parents are killed in a car accident and she has nowhere to go. Thatís when her school counselor and her feisty new friend save the day.  With some creative rearranging, Willow has a place to stay and a new family.  But does she fit in? Counting by 7s is about fitting in, being a misfit, and making things fit.   (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award, 2015)

Booktalk #4

Willow Chance is 12 years old, bespectacled, adopted, "a person of color" and a genius.  Her favorite things are the number 7, plants, and diagnosing skin conditions.  When her loving parents are killed, Willow's carefully ordered world is thrown into chaos.  She finds herself with an unlikely crew of allies, including an incompetent school counselor and a Vietnamese family in their own perpetual state of upheaval.  Can a group like this ever find a place to put down roots?  (Isinglass Teen Award Committee, 2015)

Booktalk #5

Willow Chance has always known that she was different. Her genius intellect makes her way of seeing things, people, and the world differently from almost anyone else that she meets. Her interest in diseases isnít exactly a conversation starter, and her passion for gardening is different from the interests of just about any other middle school kid around. But, her adoptive parents have always provided a haven for her interests and intellect and have showered her with love.  Now, those parents are gone, both killed in an accident, and Willow is all alone, except for the school counselor and the Nguyen family, who were with her when she got the news. Most people would break under the weight of such grief and abandonment, but Willow, like her name, bends and grows as she searches for a new home. And, as she searches for a new place to put down roots, she changes the lives of the people she encounters. Willow is not a victim, and you will cheer for her to find her happy ending when you read Counting by 7ís by Holly Goldberg Sloan.  (Booktalk by Anne Sidey, North Augusta Middle School, Michelle King, Kennedy Middle School,  South Carolina Junior Book Award)

Booktalk #6

Willow has a good situation with her adoptive parents where she can garden, express herself, and chase her many passions.  When she starts junior high at her new school, she hopes to fit in better, and perhaps find a friend.  But, her genius and iffy social skills make it difficult with teachers and her fellow students alike.   

When a tragedy befalls her family, she is again forced to try to make it in a new situation, with a Vietnamese nail salon owner as her surrogate mom, and an ineffectual counselor as her guidance.  
However, Willow doesnít do tragedy.  She will find a way to make this new life situation work, even if there are a few bumps on the way.  A touching book that might make you tear up, but one that will certainly have you rooting for Willow every step of the way.  (Booktalk by Mike Fleming, Teacher-Librarian, Pacific Cascade Middle School, Issaquah, WA
, Evergreen Book Award)

Booktalk #7

Willow Chance has always known she doesnít quite fit in with others her age; sheís hyper-intelligent and has unconventional hobbies and interests, but she has always had an accepting and loving home to support her. When her adoptive parents are killed in an accident her perfect world is shaken. This event leads her to form a new, unique home community for herself consisting of high school student Mai Nguyen and her family, a taxi driver and a school counselor. (Booktalk by Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Committee, 2016)

SUBJECTS:   Genius -- Fiction.
                        Eccentrics and eccentricities -- Fiction.
                        High schools -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        Orphans -- Fiction.
                        Gardening -- Fiction

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