"YA Novel--a Riveting, Inspirational Story" - The Missourian: Blogs

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"YA Novel--a Riveting, Inspirational Story"

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12:37 pm | Updated: 4:51 pm, Wed Mar 26, 2014.

Holly Goldberg Sloan follows up her debut novel "I'll be There" with a heart wrenching but truly inspirational book. "Counting by 7s" is the story of a young girl named Willow Chance, and her struggle to deal with the death of not one, but both of her parents. The thing that makes this novel great is that it is not a tragedy, but an inspiration.

Even though Willow is a child genius, obsessed with nature and medical conditions, she still struggles with her overwhelming loss and social awkwardness. Counting by 7s, which was once a stress reliever, no longer comforts her.

This book is an inspiration to people everywhere who have dealt with loss, or those who are still dealing with it. The journey of one small girl as she navigates the world of hurt and uncertainty gives us all hope for a new day. It shows that anyone can be a success—from the taxi cab driver, to the Vietnamese immigrants, even the child genius without parents. It also reminds us that families can be made up of unrelated people. This is a triumphant story full of new hope.

Books like "Counting by 7s" are always a joy for me to read. They help put my life into perspective. Even though the novel is fiction, that doesn't mean someone isn't facing the exact same problems as Willow. All stories are rooted in truth, and the truth is that there is suffering in our world.

"Counting by 7s" tells a tale that anyone can relate to even if they're not in the same situation. The story inspires me to be better, to love more, and notice the little things in life. Willow said that she never got to say goodbye to her parents, so now I make a point to say “bye” and “I love you” to my parents when I leave the house.

Like most of the books I'm blessed to read, "Counting by 7s" makes it onto the must-read list.

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