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Counting by 7s Paperback – September 16, 2014
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Praise for Counting by 7s:
* “A graceful, meaningful tale featuring a cast of charming, well-rounded characters who learn sweet—but never cloying—lessons about resourcefulness, community, and true resilience in the face of loss.”—Booklist starred review
* “What sets this novel apart from the average orphan-finds-a-home book is its lack of sentimentality, its truly multicultural cast (Willow describes herself as a “person of color”; Mai and Quang-ha are of mixed Vietnamese, African American, and Mexican ancestry), and its tone. . . . Poignant.”—The Horn Book starred review
* “Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family will stay in readers' hearts long after the last page.”— School Library Journal starred review
“In a beautifully written story, Sloane weaves a tale of unexpected family and belonging that will change anyone's opinion of what it means to be a part of something.” —Children's Literature
"In achingly beautiful prose, Holly Goldberg Sloan has written a delightful tale of transformation that’s a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory. Counting by 7s is a triumph."—Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Accolades for Holly Goldberg Sloan:
Best Books for Young Adults
Three starred reviews (Horn Book, SLJ, VOYA)
Children's Literature Council of Southern California Award for best YA Fiction
Los Angeles Library Best Book For Teens
Milwaukee County Teen Book Finalist
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
Field Family Teen Author Pick (Free Public Library Philadelphia)
South Dakota Young Adult Reading Program Masterlist
About the Author
Holly Goldberg Sloan (www.hollygoldbergsloan.com) was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent her childhood living in Holland, Istanbul, Turkey, Washington DC, Berkeley, California and Eugene, Oregon. After graduating from Wellesley College and spending some time as an advertising copywriter, she began writing and directing family feature films, including Angels in the Outfield and Made in America. Counting by 7s, her first middle-grade novel, was a New York Times Bestseller. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California.
Top customer reviews
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We are (mostly) loving this book. Reading it as a family (ages 15 - 9). Some of the language is a little challenging and occasionally the eldest child (surprisingly) complains that she can't follow the story, or doesn't understand the words. The younger ones have no problem with it. The characters are interesting and the narrative is witty and engaging. The narrative is from the point of view of different people in different chapters. About 50% is from the perspective of the protagonist, Willow Chance. There is one small hiccup in the chronological flow, but nothing too challenging. The death of the parents is handled well, and hasn't traumatized the more sensitive children in the family. Sometimes the kids (and the adults) will laugh out loud at the humor.
I loved Willow. I liked her observations about life and people. I thought all of the characters were wonderful even though they all had their flaws. Dell, the school counselor is horribly inept which I found to be a unique twist on this type of story. Normally, I would expect that the school counselor would be the hero, helping Willow cope with the loss of her parents. Instead, Willow is the one helping him. That’s a running theme in this story – Willow gets support from a variety of people but she teaches them all things too. It’s a two-way street.
I really appreciated the fact that there were several characters of color in this book, including Willow herself. It’s nice to see diversity in any book but especially in one for children.
This book was a selection for the Intergenerational Book Club my sons and I belong too. Ideas for theme related snacks included seven-layer dip and seven-layer cake. The book club is through the Unitarian Universalist church that my family attends. UUs have seven principles that we strive to live by so part of our discussion included which of the seven principles are represented in the book. (If you look at the principles on the UUA’s website you’ll probably notice that they seem pretty wordy for middle-grade kids to understand. We have more simplified versions of the them that the kids learn in Sunday school.) Anyway, I’m not trying to proselytize – I just thought it was neat that they tied into our discussion so well because there are seven of them.
Counting by 7s is a powerful story about family, community and the power of love. Highly recommended for kids of all ages.
I've never been one to pick apart books. I read for the sake of the story; to get lost in the life and experiences of another. I read so that I can recommend these books to my students. I believe that as long as a story is entertaining, and a person can relate to the characters - get lost in their lives; relate to them - then the book does what it's supposed to do. I think that anyone who enjoys realistic fiction would find this a really interesting read. I definitely recommend it!
There are a few times when a different character takes first person which is a bit disturbing but overall a good book.
It's listed as a young adult book and would be appropriate for them.
I enjoyed the character development and the matter of fact manner the protagonist has.
Most recent customer reviews
I do like the planting and garden storyline, the character of Willow, the references to 7.