Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting By 7s is the story of Willow Chance, a twelve-year old girl who has been identified at an early age as ‘gifted’. Willow lives in Bakersfield, California and comes home from school one day to the news that her parents have been killed in a traffic accident.

What follows is Willow’s search to find a place where she belongs.

In equal parts an exploration of the pain of loss and of the triumph of moving forward, the novel looks at how one person can change the lives of many, often without even trying.

    A few things about Counting By 7s

  1. It is dedicated to Chuck Sloan (my first husband who died while swimming in the British Virgin Islands), and Lisa Gaiser Urich (who was one of my best friends at Wellesley college). I miss them both every day and I take comfort from the fact that their kindness, wis dom and humor made the world a better place.

  2. I know someone with a cat named Cheddar and I enjoy looking at pictures of him on Facebook. He seems to be a very satisfied feline.

  3. Bakersfield, California is a very underrated place.

  4. My two sons went to a grade school for gifted children and I based some of Willow’s characteristics on kids who went to school there.

  5. I love plants. Gardening. The power of watching the cycle of life play out in the smallest of flower pots. I spent a lot of time growing sun flowers when I was young.

  6. My father is a social scientist who has worked developing different ways to measure aspects of character—which is a long way of say ing he knows a lot about tests.

  7. I had two married friends who were killed in a car accident. They were named Bob and Soni Karp. Bob was a pioneering heart surgeon. Soni was a designer and a decorator, and a person with the surest sense of who she was. They were here. And then they were gone. Just like that.

On the 7th day of the 7th month (is it any wonder I love the number?) my new parents drove north to a hospital 257 miles from their home, where they named me after a cold-climate tree and changed the world.

Penguin Young ReadersGroup
Autumn 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List
“Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers”
No. 4 in the TOP 10

of the Month Pick
for Kids and Teens!

middle reader
HONOREE at the
American Library
2013 Summer

4 on the
Fall Book Pick
TOP 10

BUZZ BOOK of 2013
by the BEA
Book Expo America

STARRED review in BookList

I count by 7s at home