Counting by 7s is a young adult novel written by Holly Goldberg Sloan. It is meant for middle-school-aged readers but can be enjoyed by many more.
12-year-old Willow Chance is considered a “highly gifted child,” a fact that gives her some trouble making friends. Her obsessions with botany and medicine fuel her life, along with her love of her adoptive parents, Jimmy and Roberta Chance. But, as she enters middle school, things start to get messy and everything she knows and loves is gone.
She is (spoiler alert) accused of cheating on standardized tests and made to see a counselor. But out of this comes two new friends, a Vietnamese 2nd generation immigrant named Mai Nguyen and a taxi driver for Mexicano Taxi named Jario. But then, tragedy strikes. Her parents died in a car crash, leaving her parentless for the second time in 12 years. She moves in with her new found friend Mai, and works to try to find happiness in her solemn world.
The way the book was written makes it especially intriguing. It starts with the most dramatic part, and then goes back in time to explain what happened and how we got there.
Overall, Counting by 7s was an amazing read, and I would highly recommend it. It is a very well written book with a great, somewhat unexpected plot. I found it in the clearance section of my local bookstore, and I’m very glad I found it. Anyone interested in a book full of tragedy, friendship, and finding happiness where you would least expect it, Counting by 7s is a great read for you.