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Counting by 7s blog tour

Welcome to the Counting by 7s blog tour! Willow Chance is a 12-year-old genius who finds it comforting to count by 7s. She’s never really connected with anyone other than her parents, but when they both die in a car crash, she’s left completely alone. We asked author Holly Goldberg Sloan to share her 7s – from the seven favorite books to seven things her fridge can’t do without, follow Holly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as she counts her own 7s.


7 times I was really afraid

1. When I was in junior high school we went on campus at the University of Oregon to a screening of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Afterwards, we walked home in the dark, passing by the old pioneer cemetery. I'm surprised that I'm alive today.

2. I went to high school in Istanbul, Turkey and we were on a very crowded ferry when a fight broke out between two men. People were yelling and it was all in a language I couldn't understand. I did, however, understand that a fight between two people is not like what you see in the movies or on television. This was a lot messier and very frightening, not just for the fighters, but for all of us.

3. I was in a car accident when I was twenty-three years old and a large sedan drove straight into my car when I was sitting waiting for a stoplight to change. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital I told the medic that I was going to go to sleep. He slapped me across the face and said "Not on my watch." I found out when I got to the E.R. that they thought I was slipping into a coma. I'm not sure to this day if I was just sleepy, or if it was something worse about to happen.

4. When I was 42 years old, I was bit in the face by a baby alligator. It got me right in the nose and I have a photo of the whole mishap. Right after the bite, just before the alligator was pulled off my face, I was certain that I no longer had a nose. That was a scary thought.

5. My family once got lost in the woods. We were on a hike and no one thought to bring a compass. The trail that we were on disappeared and suddenly we were just walking. And walking. After several hours we came upon a bandana. I'd been wearing it earlier in the day. That's when we realized we'd gone in a complete circle. And that's when we knew that we were really lost.

6. When I was ten years old my family made an attempt to all learn to ski. By my third day I was up on the chairlift. But I had trouble getting on because I was small. Late in the day it was my turn to go up. For some reason there weren't any adults with me. I made it half on and half off, but I didn't want to ask for help. I gripped the center pole and tried to hold on. They didn't have any bars back then that came down in front of you. The chairlift rose up into the air and when I was about fifteen feet up off the ground I fell. I landed in a big snow pile. They stopped the chairlift and everyone ran to me. I remember more than anything else that whistles started blowing. I guess for the ski patrol. Needless to say, I have never been much of a skier.

7. I once found a scorpion in my shoe. I was just getting ready to put it on. Now that was scary.


Counting by 7s Synopsis:

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.

About Holly Goldberg Sloan:

Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spent her childhood living in California, the Netherlands, Istanbul, Washington, DC, and Oregon. She has written and directed a number of successful family feature films. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California. I'll Be There was her debut novel (she earlier had written a middle reader book called Keeper).

Follow along the Counting by 7s blog tour to read all seven of Holly’s posts.

9/2: Live To Read
9/4: To Read, or Not To Read
9/6: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
9/9: Making the Grade
9/11: There's A Book
9/13: Abby the Librarian
9/16: The Book Muncher

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