Goodreads Rating: 4.12
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.
This was a super cute middle grade read :) I was happy I picked this up at one of the book conferences I went to since it is something outside of my normal genre for reading and didn't bore me.
First off, the author's narrative was amazing! I love "listening" to Willow talk and describe herself and everything that was going on. It really helped me visualize her and the other characters. It was very interesting seeing how her mind works, and experiencing her trauma with her. I work with many different types of students who have been through some of what Willow has gone through (losing her parents and struggling to cope with child protective services) and I think they could relate a lot to her experiences and her quirks. Willow is a truly unforgettable character who I loved as much as the characters in the book.
The story line was interesting, going through Willow's trauma from her own point of view, as well as the point of views of people around her. It was really nice to see all the lives she has inadvertently touched.
It isn't something I would rush to pick up again (since it's really out of my genre-zone) but I would recommend it to anyone who loves or works with kids and is definitely going on in my classroom library for my middle schoolers :)
The Court's Decision: