Due to a tragic event that claims the lives of her parents, 12-year-old Willow Chance finds herself thrust together with an unusual mix of characters. There's teenaged Mai (who is a little outspoken) and her older brother Quang-Ha (who is a little quiet), their nail salon-owning mother Patti, a taxi driver named Jairo (who wants to go back to school), and a bumbling school counselor named Dell Duke. This band of misfits forms an unlikely family that helps Willow cope with the loss of her parents but also ends up helping out each and every member of the group in unexpected ways.
This was such a sweet book with a lot of heart that ultimately shows kids that no matter what happens, life goes on. It also shows that it's okay to be who you are. It kind of reminds me of the book we read this year, Out of My Mind. Willow is kind of an outcast due to her intense love of nature and the fact that she's really, really smart. She's not your typical heroine, but to the other characters in the book, she's a daughter, a best friend, a tutor, an inspiration, and a guardian angel.
Counting by 7s is published by Dial Books for Young Readers and is available to purchase now. I received a free review copy for my honest opinion.