A New York Times Bestseller. An AMAZON Best Book of the Year 2013. A Kids' Indie Next List Top Ten Book-- #4, Best Books of Autumn 2013. B.E.A. Buzz Book Award 2013. A Texas Bluebonnet Award Nominee 2014-2015 Master List. A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. An E.B. White Read Aloud Honor Book. A Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee. A National Public Radio Best Book of the Year.

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.


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.


"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

"Holly Goldberg Sloan writes about belonging in a way I've never quite seen in any other book. This is a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming novel that I'll never forget."--John Corey Whaley, author of Where Things Come Back

"Willow Chance subtly drew me into her head and her life, so much so that I was holding my breath for her by the end. Holly Goldberg Sloan has created distinct characters who will stay with you long after you finish the book."--Sharon Creech, Newbery Award-winning author of Walk Two Moons



Paperback, 416 pages
Published on September 16, 2014 by Puffin Books
ISBN-10: 014242286X
ISBN-13: 9780142422861
108 Book Reviews
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  • lovetolearn
    lovetolearnWednesday, July 19, 2017 at 11:26 am55 stars
    Willow's peaceful life of gardening and diagnosing medical conditions is shattered when her adoptive parents die unexpectedly. Despite the fact that she usually doesn't fit in with anyone, Willow is able to find a new family where she belongs. This is an amazing story of acceptance, family, and persevering through grief.
    • scarletFriday, March 17, 2017 at 6:37 am
      i love this i want it to be a move so bad
      • sweetpea97
        sweetpea97Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 1:49 pm55 stars
        I love this book. I think she speaks a little too much in the beginning, saying all the medical stuff all the time. I feel really, really bad for her though. She lost both her parents! Her whole world seemed to fall apart right then and there. I love how her friend takes her in, even though they don't know each other that well. It's a really great story about loss and learning to get back up again.
        • zaveaae
          zaveaaeTuesday, January 24, 2017 at 12:41 pm55 stars
          this book has a great story and the characters are kind and the story seems so real.
          • callie_b
            callie_bThursday, January 19, 2017 at 9:36 am55 stars
            I loved this book! It was so touching and I definitely recommend this book to readers 10+ and possibly mature readers 8+.
            • izzie1017
              izzie1017Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm
              I LOVE this book! its one of my favorites out of the thousands of books i read
              • amazeballs10
                amazeballs10Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 7:45 am55 stars
                My kind of book, so I recommend it if you are my kind of person. Sad but funny. Like Mrs. A says, you need to know what is going on on on the world. This IS the world. This happens every day. If you are a straightforward person. this is the book for you! I can wait to read the end!
                • sciencenerd03
                  sciencenerd03Monday, September 26, 2016 at 4:35 pm55 stars
                  TWO WORDS. LOVED IT.
                  • memoiloveit
                    memoiloveitMonday, May 30, 2016 at 5:43 pmFeatured
                    I rate this book as excellent since the protagonist, Willow Chance, is different from normal people her age since she’s a genius. I think that Willow being a genius has helped people since plants and medical conditions interest her a lot. Since she knows loads about medical conditions, she helps many people with medical problems by giving them advice. Besides just helping people with their health, Willow, is also inspiring. For example, she helped her friend, a taxi driver, with wanting to go back to college so he can become a doctor. He called Willow an angel, since he relied on her when making hard decisions. I also admire the author making Willow’s life not the best life since it helps me learn to be grateful for what I have and to be hopeful during hard situations. Willow’s second adoptive parents died in a car accident, which taught her that family can be anybody you make it and that the people that understand you and want you in their lives are the most important people. This story has taught me to appreciate my friends and family in a different way than I used to. Even if readers aren’t in the same situation that Willow is, I think that they will still be able to relate to her. I think this since she knows that life isn’t fair to everyone, which she learned the hard way. She also understands that feeling like you belong is one of the best feelings.
                    • jmendoza
                      jmendozaFriday, May 13, 2016 at 6:55 am
                      I love this book it's about a girl who name is Willow. This book may make you cry or sometimes love your family more. ( KINDA OF A SPOILER ALERT). Because Willow lost her parents. They died in a car accident.

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