Both witty and touching, this novel shows an odd but brilliant girl who learns to deal with grief and heal.
50. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Solan
Whenever I enter a library, a strong urge compels me to pick up book after book. Normally, I walk out with over twenty new items. Did you know that most libraries have a limit of 100 items that you can have out at once? Yeah, I found that out the hard way. Anyway, the book Counting by 7s stood out to me a few months ago at our little local library. Intrigued, I stuffed the novel into my overflowing book bag. Several times it almost was returned because I had plenty of required reading in school. However, I luckily kept the book and found myself enchanted with it. The main character is never diagnosed with a mental illness (despite the fact that she showed signs of one…more on that later), but the book still addresses important elements of recovery such as grieving, loss, hope, redemption, and support people.
Synopsis: Willow is not your average 12-year-old child. Her rapid thinking skills, ability to diagnosis medical conditions, amazing way with plants, and oddities distance her from classmates. Luckily, her parents give her great encouragement and support her dreams. When they are involved in a fatal accident, Willow is left with no relations or close friends. However her peculiar personality ends up touching more people than she ever guessed – the controlling teenager Mai, her moody brother Quang-ha, their loving but orderly mother Pattie, the under-confident taxi driver Jairo, and an unreliable, people-hating school counselor Dell. All of them come together to care for this young girl and grow through the process.