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
119 Book Reviews
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  • dorks_r_us
    dorks_r_usSaturday, July 14, 2018 at 3:14 pm44 stars
    Sad and Happy mixed in one book. The first time I saw this book I thought it taught you how to count by sevens.
    • ashley57
      ashley57Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 1:31 pm
      I'm choosing books for my new fifth grade class which will promote critical thinking around social issues as well as having them think about choices they make in identifying who they are, what they will want their character to become. In a world of bullying, put downs from the top of our government, being the "tough guy" ...I want to instill in the children a sense of personal power that they can choose to be whoever and whatever they want to be without stepping on others to lift themselves higher... I'm hoping to find a journey for them through the characters in Fish in a Tree!
      • soso17970
        soso17970Thursday, May 24, 2018 at 7:02 pm55 stars
        Such a great book! It is sad how she loses her family, yet interesting how she recovers. It is amazing how such minor characters such as that taxi driver become so close to her. Willow is such a love able character and i highly recommended this book.
        • bookworm208
          bookworm208Monday, April 30, 2018 at 5:25 pm55 stars
          I have read a lot of books in my lifetime but this one has always stuck with me the most. The way Willow deals with all of the changes in her life is amazing to me and I have learned a lot from her. This book is one of my all time favorites and a must read for people of all ages.
          • grinch45
            grinch45Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 6:19 pm44 stars
            I love how there i a lot of twist and turns along the path of her life. You also get hocked like always I think it just break your heart in the end recuse your so happy. I love her personality. One thing in common is...... BOOKS! I love BOOKS and she love BOOKS. Check mark score: hap pines, exploding of happiness, and a 100 happiness.
            • meTuesday, January 30, 2018 at 4:09 pm
              i am in the middle of reading it, it great so far, it truly gives truth to wit it is like being an outsider
              • anajas1
                anajas1Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 1:54 pm55 starsFeatured
                This is a book that made me cry, laugh, and everything in between. The book is about a girl named Willow Chance, who has an obsession with counting by sevens, and using medical terms. Willow is smart, but when she gets a perfect score on a test, she is accused of cheating, and is signed up for counseling classes. There, she meets a girl named Mai, who quickly becomes her best friend. Then, out of the blue, Willow's adoptive parents are killed in a car crash, and Willow's world is turned upside down, and she must learn, that you must trust those who mean good, and that people that care for you, will always be there.
                • belcal17Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 12:39 pm
                  I read this book and I loved all the characters were very relatable ☺
                  • epringles23
                    epringles23Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 2:38 pm55 stars
                    Was a great book, about a high school girl, and her obsession for numbers! She counts by sevens when she is bored, anxious, tired, you name it! Some parts were hard to understand, but I really liked it!
                    • olliebob
                      olliebobWednesday, November 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm44 starsFeatured
                      This is a thought-provoking, moving story about Willow Chance, a twelve year old genius. Willow loves the color red. She loves the number 7. Most of all, she loves her adoptive parents. But this couldn't save them. Shortly after Willow starts middle school, her beloved parents get into a fatal car crash. They do not survive. Soon, she becomes tangled in a huge web of lies. One lie after another creates a complicated situation. She soon realizes that your family is not a mom and dad. It is those you love. This is a very interesting book. I enjoyed how unique Willow's story was. This is a sweet, different, and heart warming book that you will remember long after the final page.

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