Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting by 7s
Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow Chance is a young woman who literally is out of chances yet somehow she manages to positively affect change in all the people around her.  In the very first chapter her adoptive parents are killed in a car accident and she is left completely alone. No family friends, no long lost rich aunt, no scheming mad uncle to claim her.  Instead she finds herself with a sad excuse for a school counselor and a brother and sister she never met before but who happen to be visiting the same counselor when she finds out that her parents have died.

The misfit male counselor, Dell Duke, is lost as to how to even take action in this situation even though others are turning to him for help.  Mai and Quang-ha, sister and brother who live with their mother in a garage behind their mother's nail salon and it is Mai who comes to the aid of Willow when it is obvious that she has nowhere to go.  With this blanket of sadness over everyone it would seem this book would spill tears right out of it's pages but there is something magical about Willow Chance.  Her parents were high-spirited happy people who loved her deeply for all her unusual quirkiness and she has thrived in that love.  Now without that love from the two most important people she has to find a way to survive.

I loved I'll Be There Holly Goldberg Sloan's first novel and find that the two books have a similarity in that she takes oddball characters throws them into tough situations and makes us love them.


Jamison Children's Center is the county facility that provides emergency foster care.
Lenore Cole gives me a pamphlet.
I read it, but get the distinct feeling that the place is probably for kids who have parents who hit them or don't feed them real food because they are too busy taking drugs or stealing something.  
As we drive up to the building, I put my index and middle fingers on my carotid artery just behind my ear to take my pulse.
I know for a fact that my heart rate is in some kind of danger zone." (139)

Willow is a genius and knows things that most people don't and she's not afraid to share. Through her interactions with others she pushes them forward even though she herself cannot get past her grief.  This is an amazing realistic fiction book but with such unusual characters that one can only make sure to push it into the hands of many young 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students to see what they take from it.  I can't imagine anyone not cheering for Willow.  

1 comment:

Randomly Reading said...

I've had this sitting in my TBR pile for so long, I had forgotten what it was about. Thanks for sharing this review and reminding me. I'll have to make sure I read it now.