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



Hardcover, 384 pages
Published on August 29, 2013 by Dial Books
ISBN-10: 0803738552
ISBN-13: 9780803738553
132 Book Reviews
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  • inmemoryofcpr
    inmemoryofcprWednesday, July 17, 2019 at 12:20 pm44 stars
    OMG!!! This book was filled with so many emotions and it was written so well!!! Happiness. Love. Anger. Sadness. Curiosity. It's so overwhelming and so nice. I almost cried when I read this book. I would recommend this book if you liked Out of My Mind or Fish in a Tree.
    • nac
      nacTuesday, July 9, 2019 at 2:04 pm55 stars
      Willow Chance is different. She is a Genius, (though she won't admit it) She is adopted, (though it doesn't bother her). Her hobbies are studying plants and medical conditions. Her life is basically perfect until she is accused of cheating a test. Then, as one incident follows another both her parents are killed in a car accident. Willow knows she will never be the same. Read to find out how Willow deals with her grief.
      • applemango
        applemangoThursday, July 4, 2019 at 1:13 pm55 starsFeatured
        Willow Chance, she's a genius...more than a genius. One moment her parents are their, the next...gone. Her parents died on a car crash one day when she was driving home with her bf Mai and Dell Duke her counseler. She understands counting in seven, plants, and medical conditions. Those are what she calls a "major obsessions". She doesn't understand.."highly gifted" and the other way around. On that car crash day...Willow Chance began to live with Mai and her mom Pattie Nguyen who had a small nail salon and she strongly believed that the peacock blue nail polish was bad luck and red was the lucky color. Willow has also learned how to speak Vietnam. Dell Duke lives in the Gardens of Glenwood. Willow fixes up the garden there and replaces the old paint. Solar panels also come in. Pattie, she has saved up a great deal of money and she buys the Gardens of Glenwood, where Dell lives. Right now Dell had to move out of his apartment because Pattie is using it for "their" home. *Fun Fact*...Dell Duke owns a lot of pairs of underwear! By that I mean a WHOLE BUNCH! Willow slowly makes an understanding with Quang-ha, Mai's brother. Jairo Hernandez is also a character of this book. He is a cab driver and is starting a friendship with Willow. Later on he goes to buy for college textbooks, he just wants to read them and maybe someday go to college...he gets to be the millionth shopper and wins a big prize! So much to take all his college classes! PLUS Mai finds an acorn on the road, and kicks it...It ends up never breaking! So she gives it to Willow as a lucky charm.
        • applemango
          applemangoWednesday, July 3, 2019 at 10:18 pm55 stars
          THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER~!!!!! OMG OMG OMG~! *Mystery Voice*...*hhhmmmpp*...*cough,cough*...*background music*...Willow Chance, she's a genius...more than a genius. One moment her parents are their, the next...gone. Her parents died on a car crash one day when she was driving home with her bf Mai and Dell Duke her counseler. She understands counting in seven, plants, and medical conditions. Those are what she calls a "major obsessions". She doesn't understand.."highly gifted" and the other way around. On that car crash day...Willow Chance began to live with Mai and her mom Pattie Nguyen who had a small nail salon and she strongly believed that the peacock blue nail polish was bad luck and red was the lucky color. Willow has also learned how to speak Vietnam. Dell Duke lives in the Gardens of Glenwood. Willow fixes up the garden there and replaces the old paint. Solar panels also come in. Pattie, she has saved up a great deal of money and she buys the Gardens of Glenwood, where Dell lives. Right now Dell had to move out of his apartment because Pattie is using it for "their" home. *Fun Fact*...Dell Duke owns a lot of pairs of underwear! By that I mean a WHOLE BUNCH! Willow slowly makes an understanding with Quang-ha, Mai's brother. Jairo Hernandez is also a character of this book. He is a cab driver and is starting a friendship with Willow. Later on he goes to buy for college textbooks, he just wants to read them and maybe someday go to college...he gets to be the millionth shopper and wins a big prize! So much to take all his college classes! PLUS Mai finds an acorn on the road, and kicks it...It ends up never breaking! So she gives it to Willow asa luckycharm.
          • watercolrwonder
            watercolrwonderThursday, May 23, 2019 at 7:54 am44 stars
            I read this book for my 5th grade Battle of the Books. It was a little sad but very good, I would definitely recommend it to a fan of realistic fiction!
            • chlooe
              chlooeFriday, March 8, 2019 at 3:30 pm55 stars
              Counting by 7s is by Holly Goldberg Sloan. If you are able to trust me, you have to believe me. Counting by 7s is actually a great story about overcoming grief and moving on. Counting by 7s has a great plot because as I stated before, the theme is hugely about overcoming grief and moving on. This story starts with a girl named Willow Chance, an only-adopted-orphan-child. When Willow arrives home from her counseling lesson, she comes home to see a lot of police cars arrive on/ near her driveway/house. She doesn't know what happened, thinking that a bunch of gang teens did something wrong, but why would the police cars be on her driveway? After Willow found out that her parents passed away from a car crash, she wasn't the same. Willow doesn't know where she'll go for her foster home, nor who'll adopt her. Come join Willow on this heartbreaking yet enjoyable story and enjoy this story!
              • hiMonday, March 4, 2019 at 3:41 pm
                How could you say that kara!!!! This book was amazing and very touching!!!!!
                • hiMonday, March 4, 2019 at 3:38 pm
                  omg this book was one of the best books I have ever read!!!
                  • karaWednesday, January 30, 2019 at 9:52 am
                    it was so boring and was tooooooooooooooooooo long
                    • kenziegirl2008
                      kenziegirl2008Sunday, December 23, 2018 at 8:30 am55 stars
                      Counting By Sevens is about a girl named Willow who was adopted by her beloved parents, Jimmy and Roberta Chance. Soon after Willow has been put in counseling classes with Dell Duke, a district counselor, for acing a state test when nobody else did (they thought she cheated). Willow suffers the loss of both of her parents passing away due to the result of a car crash. A girl named Mai who Willow knew because Mai was taking her brother Quang Ha to counseling classes at the same place as Willow, convinces the policeman that Willow and Mai`s family are family friends so Willow can stay with them in the garage behind the nail salon that Mai`s mom owns. Throughout the story Willow is put through many twists and turns along the way that form her into who she truly is.