Monday, October 14, 2013

Counting by 7's - Newbery guesses, anyone?

It's never too soon to start wondering what middle grade novel will win the Newbery Medal in January, and which ones will be honor books. I rarely guess them right (except for the year When You Reach Me won the medal), but I always enjoy trying.

My pick for the medal this year goes to:




Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (August 29, 2013, for ages 10 and up, Dial Books for Young Readers)

Source: I won the arc from Gina Carey. If you haven't yet visited her very cool blog, be sure to check it out. 

Synopsis (from Indiebound): 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.

Why I loved it:  Like Auggie in Wonder, Willow is one of those unconventional characters -- intelligent, observant, fragile, and yet strong -- who stay with you long after you turn the last page. The voice is perfect. There's a surprising amount of humor in what could have been a tearjerker. Chapters narrated by Willow in first person alternate with chapters in third person that give us insight into not only Willow's character but into the refreshingly real cast of secondary characters, a multicultural group of people who come to love Willow as much as you will.

Here's Gina's review.

What book do you hope will win the Newbery in January?


For other MMGM participants, see my sidebar or Shannon's links.

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like a really neat book. I love books with a great character in them. I'll have to check this one out.

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    1. It's different, Janet. Hope you get a chance to find out.

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  2. The sadness of this one was ovewhelming for me, although I did love the book and adored the ending. All the broken people, I think, is what got to me...

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    1. I think the ending makes up for the sadness. But you're right, Barbara, there are a lot of broken people.

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  3. Not sure this will win, but it sounds goods. We'll have to remember your prediction when the award is announced.

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    1. Oh, I'm rarely right, Natalie! One out of the last ten years. That's not a very good track record. :)

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  4. I rarely ever pay attention to Newbery nominations but I do know this one is quite popular, and for good reasons. :)

    ~Akoss

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    1. It did get a lot of buzz, Akoss. But those books don't always win Newbery awards. Look at WONDER.

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  5. I have this on hold at the library--can't wait to read it!
    So far, my pick for Newbery is either The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp or The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail (or maybe I just have a thing for books with long titles...).

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    1. Both worthy contenders, from what I've heard about them, Faith. But I've yet to read either.

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  6. Well the year is not over yet, right? But we will see Joanne... this one sounds good. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. So true, Julie! Any book still to come might win the medal.

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  7. I didn't know about this one, but now it is on my TBR list. Thanks for telling me about it. I am kind of hoping Twerp will get the nod this year.

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    1. I've heard so much about Twerp, Rosi. I really need to read it!

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  8. Thank you for sharing this. I checked and it's already on my wish list.

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    1. I think you would really like this one, Medeia.

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  9. I truly enjoyed this book and think it certainly should be in contention for the Newbery! Did I find out about this book on your blog? It's one that showed up at the library after being on hold and I have no idea how it got there. haha.

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    1. Melissa, this is the first time I've mentioned this book on my blog! So it must have been someone else. Glad you agree that it should be in the running.

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  10. This one is going on my TBR list immediately! It sounds like a book I would really love. I really enjoyed Wonder too.

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  11. Thanks for the shout out :) Definitely agree it has Newbery potential!!

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    1. You're welcome, Gina. :) We only have to wait until January to see!

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  12. I haven't read any books lately that would make it to Newbery nomination. I'm looking forward to see if you're right, Joanne. :)

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    1. Oh, don't worry, Stina. I'm hardly ever right! But thanks for stopping by.

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  13. I just finished this book and am sharing it tomorrow. It is definitely a winner!

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  14. I'll have to read this one. Just reading your review gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes.

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    1. Oh yes, Myrna! Try to read it if you can. It's worth it.

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