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Welcome to the Counting by 7s blog tour! Willow Chance is a 12-year-old genius who finds it comforting to count by 7s. She’s never really connected with anyone other than her parents, but when they both die in a car crash, she’s left completely alone. We asked author Holly Goldberg Sloan to share her 7s – from the seven favorite books to seven things her fridge can’t do without, follow Holly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as she counts her own 7s.

Holly’s Guest Post: 7 things in my life that I will never forget

1. I will never forget the sunrise after my first son was born. The labor was not easy, but the baby boy eventually made his appearance. I was wheeled out of an operating room and taken up to recovery. The orderly pushed my hospital bed by a bank of windows and outside the sun was just edging over the horizon. I saw that first hot orange light and I swear I heard a symphony start to play. I had never before (or since) felt so alive.

2. My husband and I took a boat from San Pedro to the island of Catalina. It was a sunny day, but very windy and the other passengers had all gone inside. We had stayed up on the top deck looking out at the dark blue ocean. Suddenly my husband Gary grabbed my arm and pointed. Just alongside the boat was an enormous whale. Moments later the captain cut the engine and the boat stopped. The whale then stirred and started to swim. It was like watching a building move–the creature was that big. We were awestruck by the beauty of the animal.

3. Crater Lake in Oregon is a sight to see. The color of the water is breathtaking, as is the size and shape of the magnificent body of water. I was a kid when I first saw it and I’ve never forgotten how impressed I was.

4. I went to college in Massachusetts. My parents didn’t have the money for me to travel from Oregon to Boston, so I had never seen the school. But I had spent hours and hours looking at the college brochure, which had pictures in black and white. As I drove onto the campus that first day I was in shock. Nothing looked the same. The place was in color!

5. When I was in grade school my best friends were Annie and Katie Kleinsasser. I spent an insane amount of time at their old farmhouse that had been restored and stood only blocks from the University of Oregon. My family had a dog, but the Kleinsassers had cats. One morning after I had spent the night, I got up early to go to the bathroom. Everyone was asleep and the house was quiet. As I passed through the family room I heard a noise coming from a dark corner. I went to check and one of their cats was inside a box on a pile of clothing. She had just given birth to kittens and they were all around her. I was mesmerized. This was a big secret.

6. My family took a camping trip when I was in junior high school and we went to Canada. We put up a tent in a campground but no one else was there. It got dark and a truck came in with a local ranger. He told us that we should be careful because there was a grizzly bear that often visited the city dump, and that was right near the campground. After much debate between my parents they decided to stay the night, despite the warning. I insisted on sleeping in the car and so did my little brother. In the middle of the night, the bear arrived. A grizzly bear in the dark in an empty campsite is not something you forget, even if you are locked in the car and your parents are sleeping in a tent.

7. The first time I saw New York City, I approached the city by train. I could see the island and it was more magnificent than any picture or piece of film I had ever seen. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was New York, New York. Skyscrapers and everything.

Counting_by_7sCounting by 7s Synopsis:

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.

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.

HollyGoldbergSloanimageAbout Holly Goldberg Sloan:

Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spent her childhood living in California, the Netherlands, Istanbul, Washington, DC, and Oregon. She has written and directed a number of successful family feature films. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California. I’ll Be There was her debut novel (she earlier had written a middle reader book called Keeper).


First of all, thank you so much to Holly for taking the time to write this fantastic novel and accompanying guest post. This is an absolute favorite novel of mine this year and has had me in tears numerous times (which I guarantee is a good thing!). Because I love it that much I’m offering one hardback copy of Counting by 7s to one There’s A Book reader! Good luck and if you don’t win, please do pick this one up because you don’t want to miss it!
Be sure to enter using the rafflecopter form below and be aware that this one is for US residents only.

Follow along the Counting by 7s blog tour to read all seven of Holly’s posts.

9/2: Live To Read
9/4: To Read, or Not To Read
9/6: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
9/9:  Making the Grade
9/11: There’s A Book
9/13: Abby the Librarian
9/16: The Book Muncher

Find Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo eBook | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads | ISBN10/ISBN13: 0803738552 / 9780803738553

Thank you so much to the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with Dial on Twitter and on Facebook!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

11 Responses to Guest Post and Giveaway: Holly Goldberg Sloan, Author of Counting by 7s

  1. Tara Creel says:

    7 items: My husband, my kids, my novels I’ve written, the scrapbooks my mom made me before she passed away, my house I love to decorate, my books I Love to read, and my food I love to eat.

  2. Steph says:

    My 7: My husband, my son, my daughter, my dog Beatrice, my dog Moe, my parents and our house.

  3. Anne says:

    My husband, my children, my grandchildren, my dogs, my books, my photograph albums, my records.

  4. What a beautiful post and cool sounding book.
    Good luck girls!

  5. Joanna says:

    1. My mentor, 2 my best friends, A and E, 3, France, Nice, 4 New york, 5. my passport 6. my cats 7 my manuscripts

  6. Pragmaticmom says:

    Sounds wonderful! 7 things: husband, kid 1, kid 2, kid 3, dog, mom, mother-in-law, books.

  7. Pen and Ink says:

    Seven Wonderful things
    1.Same as Holly. When I held my son for the first time, “Morning has broken” played in my head.
    2. Birth of my second son.
    3. looking into my husband to be’s eyes the first time we met.
    4. Holding my granddaughters.
    5. Doing a musical on Broadway.
    6. Writing books (and READING)
    7. Next week I turn 70 and to celebrate the beginning of what I know will be a wonderful decade, I am going on a trip to Ireland and Scotland.
    How’s that for a lucky seven?

  8. Maureen says:

    The seven people would be my husband, two children, my parents, my sister and my brother.

  9. Nancy Tandon says:

    Seven small treats that brighten my days: hazelnut creamer, lotion that smells like the beach, hot water from the tap, banjo music, the feeling of the keyboard on my fingers, sea salt/dark chocolate combo, and BED!

  10. Karen Long says:

    Seven important things to me: my faith, my husband, my two sons, best friends, chocolate, coca cola, laughing

  11. Cleo says:

    Can’t wait to read this book! Seven important things: chocolate, reading, writing, music, family, New York City, and learning.

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