My daughter read Counting by 7s a few years ago and had mentioned I might enjoy it. While we were reorganizing bookshelves in her room, I came across it and remembered the recommendation. Since it is a YA novel, I felt like I had plenty of time to squeeze it in between other reads.
About Counting by 7s:
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.
Besides my daughter's recommendation, I keep seeing Counting by 7s pop up on lists for YA, middle grades, teacher lists, etc, and I know why. It is well written and the story just draws you in. The varying perspectives from Willow, her friend, her counselor, et al. allow the reader to really observe what has happened in Willow's world and what people will do to make sure she is taken care of. There is a little suspension of belief in the book, as both the counselor and the friend situation seem a bit farfetched for what would likely happen, but it definitely needs to be that way to carry the story.