Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I love smart people, smart girls in particular (hence the blog name) and I love the main character in the new book I'm reading.  Counting by 7s  by Holly Goldberg Sloan tells the story of Willow Chance who is not just smart.  She's a genius.  A weird, awkward, unusual genius and I wish I were just like her.

Willow doesn't have many friends.  Any, really, and as she begins middle school, she wants very much to make a good first impression.  She does her research but most of what she can find makes it sound as though all teenagers are drug- addicted, delinquents on the fast track to teen pregnancy and prison.  This turns out to not be all that helpful.  She tries her best, but the day a standardized test is passed out proves to be her turning point.  She finishes the test in less than twenty minutes and is accused a few days later of cheating as she has gotten every single question correct.  She doesn't know how to defend herself and is sent to a school counselor who is horrible at his job.  While in this office, Willow meets the people who will change her life forever.

This is a wonderful, darling book that only took me two days to read because I could not put it down.  I may have even hidden in my closet to finish it.  We do what we have to do, don't we?  One of the things I love so much about Middle Grade fiction is that it is what I think Young Adult fiction used to be, or maybe what I think it should be.  In YA, the characters are all teenagers, but they don't seem to realize it.  They behave much more maturely and are in situations that I feel are sometimes far above their capability and it is often something that I wouldn't necessarily want my younger teenager to read.  We all know that these books trickle down to younger readers so I appreciate that there is good fiction out there now (and I do believe it is getting better all the time) that I would feel comfortable handing over to my pre-teen or younger teen when I have one.  Truth be told, this may be my new favorite genre.  Please read this book.  You will fall in love with Willow Chance and watching the people around her change is inspiring.  I hope you love it as much as I do.

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