Interest LevelReading LevelReading A-ZATOSWord Count
Grades 4 - 8Grades 3 - 8X5.662677
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
142 Book Reviews
Add a Rating
  • hockey_kid77
    hockey_kid77Monday, August 10, 2020 at 4:52 am55 stars
    Counting By 7s is the story of Willow Chance, a twelve-year-old girl who has been identified at an early age as 'gifted'. Willow lives in Bakersfield, California and comes home from school one day to find out news that her parents have been killed in a traffic accident. This was a sad book.
    • belle252
      belle252Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 11:45 pm55 stars
      This is such a good book if you have lost a parent or just a loved one. Its about a girl, Willow, and she's basically a genius but she doesn't show it. One day her teacher accuses her of cheating when she really didn't so now she has to see the counselor. She ends up making one friend at her counseling sessions but one day when she comes home she gets some really bad news, her parents died in a car accident. Willow now has no one except her counselor and her one friend that might not even be her friend. Read this heart-warming book to find out how she survives and how she overcomes her loss.
      • bsc
        bscTuesday, June 2, 2020 at 9:43 am11 star
        I did not like this book. Willow is a very smart kid. Apart from being a genius, Willow's life is very simple. But after a horrible incident, Willow's life is turned around. Willow has to rebuild her life with the help of some friends. The plot was confusing, and was not my favorite book.
        • nac
          nacSaturday, May 30, 2020 at 9:13 pm55 stars
          Willow Chance isn't like most kids her age. She is a genius, though she'll never tell you so. She has amazing supportive parents, and even though she's adopted they make the perfect family. Willow has a plan for everything. Until she starts middle school. Then she faces problems she never thought she'd have. And then tragedy strikes, and Willow doesn't know what to do. But she has made a difference in peoples lives, and now its their turn to make a difference in hers. This story was so touching. I laughed and cried. Willow is so smart that she doesn't even need to go to school, which I find really cool.
          • lovetoread26
            lovetoread26Friday, May 29, 2020 at 5:29 pm55 stars
            This was a wonderful book! I am used to reading science fiction right now, and I forgot how much I like realistic fiction! This book was a great reminder of how much I like it. 12-year-old Willow Chance has been adopted once. Then her adopted parents suddenly die in a car accident, and it looks like she will have to be adopted for a second time. Willow finds an unlikely friend in her counselor, and meeting him helps her make other friends. I highly recommend this story of friendship and loss, and I think that any reader of any age would enjoy it.
            • luiza
              luizaThursday, February 27, 2020 at 8:13 am
              almost done with it
              • Smart BoyTuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:17 am
                I loved this amazing novel about peserverance
                • WassupTuesday, December 17, 2019 at 11:10 am
                  Great Book
                  • andeliza
                    andelizaMonday, December 2, 2019 at 6:19 am55 stars
                    This book is very Inspirational! Yes, it does have its sad parts but, all of it is happy out together!!🌺🌺
                    • legendsneverdie
                      legendsneverdieThursday, September 12, 2019 at 6:44 pm44 stars
                      I personally LOVE this book! I'm going to be honest, I was a little confused in the beginning, but overall, this book was amazing!! Had me hooked for a week! If you like Realistic Fiction, I recommend this book.