Assignment #1 Week of December 8

Good afternoon Division 16

Tonight for your blog homework, I would like you to think about our Read Aloud novel “Counting by 7s”  by Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Please take the role of a book reviewer and write a brief review of the novel.  You can find some examples of book reviews on the links below:

You can use any format you like, but your review must include:

1. your opinion of the book overall (did you enjoy it? Would you recommend it?)

2. choose one or more of the following and explain: a relationship, a character, or the overall message of the book

3. At least one paragraph of 5 or more sentences. More writing is welcome. Please make sure your paragraph has a topic sentence and that the following sentences are connected to one another.

4. Include names of characters and places where appropriate.

I look forward to reading your reviews.  Please do not hesitate to respond to one another’s posts or give feedback.



  1. doctor pineapple

    I think that Holly Goldberg did a really fantastic job on this book. It was very emotional yet she still fit in nice bits of humour and personality. I would definitely recommend this book but probably to slightly more mature readers as there is some complex parts and it deals with some heavy subjects. I would like to give an overview of my favourite character Mr. Dell Duke. I thought of Dell as a guy who was struggling with a lot of things, he had financial troubles and also lots of troubles with his work. But I thought that as the story progressed he became more and more genuine and positive towards some of the other characters. He went from being more of a sad and uninterested person to becoming more responsible and positive. The author also found a way to fit in an entertaining sense of humour underneath all the other jumbled traits of his. Overall I thought this was a great book with a really detailed yet understandable plot. It had a great message about overcoming losses and hardships in your life but still being positive about it. Thanks for the great read Jody…

    • dickensdiv16

      Excellent review, doctor pineapple. I agree that Dell Duke was one of the most interesting characters in the book, and certainly one of the characters who changed the most over the novel. I think you’ve picked up on one of the best themes: that of overcoming loss. Humans are really so resilient!

      • doctor pineapple

        I agree that it’s a good message but i also think that another key message is about accepting change and moving forward. Like the two birds at the end of the book…

  2. Scarletcat

    Willow Chance ,a twelve year old genius was adopted as an infant by her “interesting” parents. Willow couldn’t imagine life any other way, exept for when her adoptive parents are killed in a horrible car crash. She is forced to move on and meet some friends along the way like Mai a stubborn girl who helps Willow and gives her a home. One of Willows odd relationships is with Quangha ,Mai’s brother. Quangha doesn’t really like Willow that much, he doesn’t smile or laugh, and he isn’t that bright at school. Willow shows him a different side of himself and gets him to finally smile and be brave. I think that “Counting by 7’s” is a really great feel good book, its has some sad moments but most of it is about overcoming good and bad new changes, and forgetting about fitting in.

    • dickensdiv16

      Scarletcat, I love your observation about “forgetting about fitting in” and overcoming good and bad changes. You’re right, Willow really showed Quang-ha a different side of himself. How do you think she did that?

      • Scarletcat

        I think Willow gave Quang-ha distractions like gardening and running so that he would focus on those things instead of living in a “temporary” house with a “temporary” life style.

  3. gigatool2_is_a_girl

    I enjoy Counting by 7 🐟🐟. I likeespecially some of the characters. I like Willow and dell duke. I think dell duke was interested in the story . For willow she took a lot of risks, her life was hard. I felt really sorry for willow , her parents die, after her parents die , she was adopted and soon later her new parents die…. she say that with out her new friends and old friend she was able to be living life without her parents.

    • dickensdiv16

      Good observations, gigatool2_is_a_girl, This book is very much about moving forward. Can you check the criteria and make sure you are responding to each part of the question.

  4. Subway2go

    Willow Chance is an child prodigy. She loves all her library books, her garden and her parents who adopted her. All of that is wiped away when her adoptive parents die in an unfortunate car accident. After that she is taken on a wild ride with her, ranging from caring to awkward, friends and councillor. Willow Chance has no home and she needs to find one soon. So Patti,( the mom of Willow’s best friends Mai and Quangha) Mai, Quangha and weird yet funny councillor Dell Duke sets off to find an apartment. After some tumbles and turns their exciting journey sets off. I would definitely recommend the book as a read aloud because it is interesting and very different than anything I have every read.

  5. coolschoolscout

    Willow Chance was a miniature scientist who really dug into her interest and became a genius that likes botany, the number 7, and lots of books about any topic. She had a rough beginning of the story, owing to the fact that her parent died in a car crash, she was taken from her house with a luxurious garden, and was accused of cheating in a national test when she got all of the answers right. She was then placed with the misfit Del Duke who is lazy, has no self confidence and is an absolute slob. Once he meets Willow, he creates a brand new way of thinking. He asks her to come again. At the next session, Del is late and has two current people in his office. A boy named Kwangha and Mai. Kwangha is supposedly a “Lone Wolf” according to Del Duke’s System Of The Strange, which is his way of organizing his counselling. A new relationship is made when Mai asked their mother Patti to adopt Willow. There is a deal with the Social Services that ends up with Willow getting stitches in her forehead with an incident with a elephant table. They meet a taxi driver named Hyro Hernandez who occasionally drops off Willow at her chosen destinations. Willow lives in The Gardens Of Glenn-wood with the rest and she makes a garden there. At the end, at a meeting with a judge to decide Willow’s fate, she enters the room to find Hyro, Patti, Mai, Kwangha, and Del Duke and it turns out that Hyro and Patti made a guardianship to take care of Willow. She then makes a whole bunch of lists about seven things, like the seven most important people in her life and the seven colours of the rainbow. This book is an excellent read for grades 4-7 and I highly recommend it as a read aloud book. Thanks for reading my comment!

  6. purplegiraffe47

    I think that “Counting by 7’s” was a really great read a loud and I would recommend it to anyone, what I really liked about it was how specific and different all the characters are: Willow has never fit in away from her parents other people didn’t find it “cool” to be a genius and to wright reports on what plants need to live for fun that was until Willow met Mai, Mai doesn’t take “no” for an answer from anyone unlike her brother Quing-ha who has no opinion on anything I thought he would come up more and play a more important part in the book like Mai and Patti I wonder if it had something to do with who Patti’s husband was and on the topic of Patti I would say she’s my favourite character I don’t really know why but she’s funny and at the same time she’s maddening. Hiero’s also one of my favourites cause it’s so creative how Willow and Hiero met. Dell is AWESOME!!!<3 😉 he's hilarious and I ❤ Cheddar. My favorite part of the book is when Hiero and Patti turn out to be in a relationship because come on finally some<3
    😉 ❤

  7. jr.fruitcacke

    Counting by sevens was a very interesting.
    It was very sad realistic fiction but despite the word fiction I could see all the characters being real and very normal. The book opened up to me that sometimes there is a lot more to someone than meets the eye. so much could be going on behind someones eyes. It was a very good book that combined the the different characters personality traits like the protagonist Willow Chance she is a child prodigy, Quangha a not so social person who has trouble in school, Mai is an intelligent teenager with a commanding air. She is Quangha’s sister. Patty is a hard working woman who is on the financial down side and the two siblings’ mother, Hiro is an originally uninvolved character who is a taxi driver. The path of the story leads him to be very important. and last but not least is Mr. Dell Duke who is a school councilor who is very unorganized and not very happy with himself, Willow shows him a new side of himself that helps him become a more dedicated and original person. With all these characters there is so much potential for a story. Holly Goldberg Sloan fulfills the potential perfectly.

  8. Cheeseman ABC123

    I really enjoyed reading that for a read aloud book some of the parts were really sad but if some asked me what book to read as a read aloud book I would recommend it at fist I thought it was some sort of math book every single person in the book had a different personality I like those sort of books because everyone’s different and yet they each get along really well .I like how Willow Chance opened up everyone like when Mr. Dell Duke was all grumpy and unorganized then Willow helped bring out his not grumpy and all organized. when Willow met Quangha he was not social wasn’t very good at doing school work and always stared at the television when he got home and Willow helped him with his school by putting it in a different for which he understood better he was probably also grumpy because he didn’t have a very good home until he moved into where Mr. Dell Duke lived so took that chance to watch as much television as he could. Patty is a hard working person to keep her family healthy and as happy as she could she also tried as much as she could to keep Willow safe. I think that Hiro really liked Willow at first I didn’t think that we were going to hear much of Hiro then latter on he was one of the main characters. I think Holly Goldberg Sloan did a really great job on this book

    • dickensdiv16

      Cheeseman, you did a great job of describing the different characters and many of the important themes in the novel. You really showed how the different characters were changed by their experiences with Willow.

  9. balloongirl123

    I think that counting by sevens was a really good book for read aloud but what I liked about the book is how interesting it is because Holly Goldberg was a great thinker to make this really fun book for our class. I was sorry for willow because his parents died but that is good that she stills have her friend near her.

  10. The awesomest

    Counting by Sevens is a really good book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone.My favourite character was Willow because she is very determined.I think that willow is a great main character because of all the problems that she’s been through and all the struggles in her life.Willow is very outgoing and very smart.I think Willows story is very interesting and everyone should read Counting by Sevens.

  11. cheese curds

    i cant explain how much i loved this book. It made my teacher cry – sob. I would definitely recommend it. My favourite character is Dell Duke because of the odd opinion on the groups he puts kids into such as misfit and oddball. Also the fact that he’s such a bad counsellor is pretty funny.

  12. petrinied4000

    I think that Holly Goldberg is an excellent writer. The story is about a girl named Willow Chance. She is an unusual kid who likes nature a lot. While overcoming her parents death she meets the Nuen family who help her out a great deal. She also meets a very round school councilor named Dell who gets taught some important lessons. Unfortunately Willow has to deal with another problem. She had grown to like the Nuen family and the councilor very much but she was taken away from them because she needed legal foster parents. When she walked into the court room though, she finds Dell and the Nuen family waiting for her. It is amazing how every character helps each other out so much. I really like the book Counting by Sevens and I recomend it to anyone who is looking for a good novel to read.

    • dickensdiv16

      Petrinied, you’ve done a really professional review here. You described the characters in a way that I think will really encourage people to try this book and show that you have a good understanding of the relationships between the characters. Well done!

  13. cooperraine

    this was not my favourite book but it was well written so i would recommend it to other people. that are 9 or older because it was really confusing and had some death in it.
    the character i picked is cheddar the cat. no body loved and when it ran away no body thought dell duke cared. but deep inside he really loved his cat.there is not a lot that the book told about cheddar so i will also talk about dell duke. he was counsellor for willow when she was really young and when she was really old dell was also a confusing man. he loved to keep every thing he bought but didn’t care about losing students or friends. and he had some problems with money and washing.

  14. Ginger

    Counting by 7’s is an AMAZING book and I would recommend it to anyone even if they didn’t like realistic fiction. This book is about Willow Chance’s mixed up crazy life in Bakersfield, Calif. Willow had a somewhat normal life with Roberta and Jimmy Chance, her adoptive parents, until one day they die in a sudden car crash. Willow is taken in by her only friend Mi’s mom and brother, Patty and Quang Ha. Willow and Mi have a very strong relationship and they both really cherish each other as friends. When Willow finds out that Mi’s older brother was scheduled right before her counselling session she was very excited because she knew they were going to be friends. When Mi learned that Willow was secretly learning how to speak Vietnamese just so they could talk in their not-so-secret language she felt like Willow really wanted to be friends. This book reminds me about the importance of friendships and family.

  15. Aldwyn 2000

    counting by 7s,
    The story of a 12 year old genius called Willow Chanse and the tragedies she faces through the 12th year of he life. During her journey she makes many friends
    who help her find solutions for her problems, including Dell Duke her councillor; Mi, her best friend; Patty
    Mi’s mom, Qaung ha; Mi’s brother,hyro hernandas and Willow’s adoptive parents. Sadly, her adoptive parents pass away before her 13th Birth-day.While fighting through puberty and loss of parents she try’s to keep up gardening and finding medical cures.She also manages to hide where she lives from the authorities.The moral of her story is that you can find family every-where.

    • dickensdiv16

      Aldwyn2000, you’ve really done a great job here of outlining the main points of the story and choosing a succinct and clear way to express the moral of the story: Family is really such an important thing! Which relationship in the story was most interesting to you?


    I loved counting by sevens yes I would totally recommend it! As soon as I saw saw the shape of the day and it said read aloud i would be so happy! My favourite relationship of mine had to be Willow and cheddar.What I loved about there relationship was that when del duke did not really care about cheddar and then left him to probably die on the street but when he found him wounded on the street and then decide to take him home and take care of him. when cheddar and willow meet they sort of had a connection and became friends. To willow she felt like that even if she was not going to stay with paddy or mi maybe just maybe she would get to stay with cheddar she felt that when she was close to cheddar everything was okay that maybe this had not happened and maybe it was just a dream.

    • dickensdiv16

      THE_MOST_AWESOMEPERSON, you really did a great job of combining your opinion and reporting on the book itself. I like that you gave a lot of details from the book to support your choice to explain the relationship between Cheddar and Willow. Well done!

  17. PointyHedgeHog11

    I really loved this book ! It is a great read for people who like complicated topics and advanced vocabulary.
    It is a story that I think people in the modern world can relate to. This is the story of a girl named Willow Chance
    A unique knowledgeable girl who is happy in her life . But then there is a great tragedie that she has to deal with
    She is helped through this great tragedie by many people notably , by a girl named Mi . Mi met Willow because her brother, Quang ha had counciling just before she did. This is a complicated , well written book and I think it may even be on my top 10 list .

  18. reader

    I really like the book” counting by sevens.” there’s always something happening, and the discretion in the book, is so beautiful. willow is the main character in the book, she always has a good idea and a good sense of humor most of the time. To me it sounded like willow was being moved around a lot, she was with her parents then, with a girl named Maya, she was all over the place. Here and there and back again. this book is a great read for 10+ maybe even younger.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s