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
140 Book Reviews
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  • 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.
                  • 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.