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
110 Book Reviews
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  • 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.
    • parkorcheeta
      parkorcheetaMonday, October 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm44 stars
      i love this book it is vary heart worming and sad all at the same time and i love it but close to the end it got a little boring
      • 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.

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