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Title: Counting By 7s
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan (link)
Pub Date: August 2013
(Arc giveaway info below)
Goodreads 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.
First Line: We sit together outside the Fosters Freeze at a sea-green, metal picnic table.
This story was chosen as one of five editor buzz books at BEA this year. And it's not hard to see why. From the start, the quirky, oddball voice grabs hold and doesn't let go through the very end. There were moments where I laughed out loud on one page, only to dab my eyes on the next. And I found myself reading full passages aloud to anyone caught in the same room as me while I devoured this book. Full of heart, humor, and characters that are both remarkable yet true to life, Counting By 7s has the makings of an insta-classic.
Why You'll Love Willow: Willow's deadpan delivery and unique world view completely enchanted me. Her voice makes the story hilarious and bittersweet all at the same time. Serious, super-smart, and spunky, Willow has a way of connecting people in subtle yet poignant ways that pay off in the end.
Counting By 7s Topics & Themes: family, community, overcoming tragedy, death, growing, counseling, gardening, geniuses, oddballs, school, making a difference, adoption, multiculturalism.
You must read this book! And to help spread the joy, I'm passing along an arc from BEA. Leave a comment below with your Twitter handle or contact info to enter. +1 Entry if you RT my post on Twitter. I'll pick a winner using random.org after Sunday, 9/1.
Want to find more marvelous middle grade books? Check out my past picks, as well as these MMGM bloggers who have more recommendations every Monday!