Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

What it's all about . . .
12-year-old Willow Chance is a genius. She's also socially awkward and fascinated with medical conditions, plants and counting by 7s. When her adoptive parents are killed in a car crash, Willow's protected existence is turned upside down. Forced to make her way through grief with the help of strangers who are grappling with tough issues of their own, Willow transcends the unspeakable tragedy that has befallen her--changing the lives of those around in her in the process.

Why it’s on the Crooked Bookshelf . . .

Willow's voice is fresh, quirky and endearing, and the story moves forward gracefully despite alternating narration and multiple points of view.

Our favorite lines . . .
“I'm putting my place in the universe into perspective.
I'm stardust.
I'm golden brown.
I'm just one small bit in a vast expanse.”

Why kids will love it . . .
There is an undeniable otherness in Willow--odd habits and a genius IQ--yet young readers who've ever felt different or marginalized for any reason will relate to her journey and find themselves cheering her precociousness and resilience. It does wrap up somewhat neatly in the end, but appropriately so, for a middle grade audience who will accept flaws and dysfunction--even tragedy--as long as it comes with a measure of hope.

Why grown-ups will love it . . .
The themes of loss and loneliness, tragedy and transcendence will resonate whether you're 11 or 99. Plus, it's hard not to fall in love with the feisty, idiosyncratic Willow Chance.


  1. Love this book! One you just can't put down.

  2. We couldn't either! Thanks for visiting/ commenting, Jennifer!