After reading Counting By 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan it is evident that this book truly deserved it’s spot on the 2015-2016 Rebecca Caudill Award book list. It's a definitely a five star book! This realistic fiction book will take you straight into the heart of the story of the first page, it's an attention grabber and is sure to keep you wonder what's going to happen next.
The story follow a twelve year old girl named Willow Chance, she's a super genius who is obsessed with plants and medical conditions. When Willow takes a state standardized test and scores 100% on it the school suspects that she cheated and sets her up to meet with a school counselor. Dell Duke, the counselor, later finds out that that Willow really did not cheat but, instead she is incredibly smart. While with Dell Duke, Willow meets a friend, Mai, this is something she hasn't had since her old friend Margaret moved to Canada. When things couldn't seem to get any better tragedy strikes, Willows adoptive parents were killed in a car crash, she's put into to foster care center, but she has trouble connecting with anyone. Mai comes up with the idea of her family taking her into foster care. Mai’s mother agrees but it's only temporary, Willow will need to find a permanent home soon.
This book is a real tragedy, Willow never met her biological parent and loses her adoptive parents at a very young age, this is something a child should never have to go through. But this book can also be very uplifting, Willow seems some hope in her future and you can't help but to be excited for her, when Mai mother decided to take her in for a while Willow finally gets the break she needs and the reader can connect to her easily.
Counting By 7’s is an amazing book that could be compared to Out Of My Mind because of the strong young girl characters who deal with teasing and bullies but are both incredibly smart and have to show people what they can do. Willow, like Melody, the main character in Out Of My Mind, are both the smartest kids at their school. Willow and Melody preserve through what life gives them. Melody can't speak or move without someone else's help. For a while after Willows parents died she didn't talk much or do anything, she didn't go to school or bother to read and learn anything. These similarities are why they could be compared to each other. The type of reader who would like this book is someone who likes an underdog, tragedy, and a story about finding family. Holly Goldberg Sloan Has written various other types of books including mostly young children's books, one recently published this past year entitled Appleblossom the Possum. Overall the book Counting By 7’s is a five star book I would recommend to just about anyone who is over 5th grade.