Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Counting by 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan...

How I Heard About It:  I believe I first heard about this book from Colby Sharp via Twitter.  If you don't follow him, you need to.  I then would see a person Tweet about this book and the ARC they received.  While at a workshop earlier in August, Donalyn Miller mentioned the book.  I couldn't wait for the release date.  On August 29th, I check all the book stores in town and none of them had a copy yet.  I ordered a copy from two different online sources.  I wanted to be sure to get it as soon as possible.  I then downloaded a sample of the book to my Kindle.  Well, after reading that sample, I had to buy the whole book and I'm extremely pleased that I did.  

What It Is About:  Willow Chance is a one-of-a-kind character that I don't think I will ever forget.  She is twelve, she is a genius, and she is an individual.  After being adopted, she has had an incredible life with her parents.  She is a loner but fills her days with many diverse and unique interests.  These interests tend to make her stand-out among her peers, but Willow isn't going to compromise for anyone.  After a tragedy, Willow has to learn some hard life lessons.  She will learn these lessons with the help of the best cast of characters I have experienced in a novel in quite some time.  There is Dell Duke, her middle-school counselor.  There is Mai, her new high school friend and mentor.  There is Quang-ha, Mai's brother.  There is Jairo, a taxi cab driver.  Finally there is Pattie, the strong mother of Mai and Quang-ha.  All of these people will be affected by Willow in ways they could never imagine and she in return will be changed forever because of them. 

What I Thought Of It:  I'm sure you can tell by now that I LOVED this book.  I spent today reading the entire book.  I could not put it down and thought the writing was top-notch.  As I Tweeted today, I took in every page, every sentence, and every word.  It has been a long time since I have read a book that in my opinion is "pitch perfect."  Willow will be in my heart for a long time to come.  As I'm typing this I find myself missing her like I would miss a real friend.  To me the most profound aspect of these book is the unique and special cast of characters and how they came to rely and depend on each other.  This has become a book that will definitely be in my top five middle-grade novels. 
Who Should Read It:  I put on my Facebook page today that all middle-grade readers (4-6) need to read this book, but I also put that ALL adults should read it as well.  This is going to be my new book that I recommend to everyone.  It is my plan to share this novel as a read aloud with my fourth grade class at some point during the upcoming school year.  Please do yourself a favor, get a copy of this book, and get to know one of the most amazing girls you will ever read about!  Happy Reading...

Rating:  5 Stars out of 5 Stars!!! 


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