Monday, November 18, 2013

Have To Talk About It!

     Tuesday Slice of Life is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Visit to see all the other slicers' post.  It will make a terrific day for you!


      If you read my posts through the week, you know I've fallen into a routine.  Mondays I review books, Tuesday is the Slice of Life, then there is Poetry Friday, and more lately, Saturday Celebration.  I try to keep it simple, and enjoy the communities in which I participate.  It's a plentiful, varied, and a learning week, about people's stories, what they read, what poets they enjoy, including all the writing talents observed and the amazing books shared.
      However, sometimes it's important to break the habits for something a little different.  This time, even after the Monday Reading sharing, I need to review another book.  I've neglected reading some posts tonight, and other obligations in order to finish a book.  Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is one of the best books for upper middle grades (perhaps into YA) I've read in a long time.  I literally have read almost 200 pages in the past day in order to finish!



      I love books especially that touch me and teach me through the characters in those books. There are several connections I made to it.  There is tragedy and people, without hesitation, step up to do what is needed.  There is sadness, yet this young girl, Willow Chance, finds hope, even after terrible loss. "And so I take small sips that taste salty, like drinking someone's cloudy tears."
      In addition, the book showed something of value in all the characters, something I often wish authors would do more.  Each character was treated with respect for their unique qualities, even in the imperfections. They were given a point of view from which to speak in different chapters. Willow says this at the end of the book: "If there's anything I have figured out in the last months it's that you can find labels to organize living things, but you can't put people in any kind of group or order. It just doesn't work that way!"
       Celebrating who a person really "is" in small ways and large is something to keep in a special part of our hearts.  I keep thinking of different storybook characters winding down their rocky roads, and yet, with acceptance, find happy endings. Our work as teachers is to allow the student not to be held back, but to be empowered by who they are.  This book, Counting by 7s, celebrates that acceptance.
       Some of you know I'm attending the NCTE convention in Boston this week.  On the top of a very long list is "meet Holly Goldberg Sloan".  And I plan to share adventures with you in the coming weeks-promise!
       



40 comments:

  1. I was so happy to read this post, Linda! I broke my weekly routines last week because of this book and wrote about it as my slice of life, too. I have missed Willow and the rest of the Counting By Sevens characters and have picked up this book again to find favorite parts and lines/passages that I wanted to re-live. Enjoy Boston--I wish I was going, but I will be looking for tweets and posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy to hear this Melanie. It would be lovely to sit and chat about it, wouldn't it? Sorry I'll miss you in Boston!

      Delete
  2. Love this review Linda - you are so right. The honouring and celebrating of each character in this story is what makes it so special. What characters. I felt the same as you that this is one of the best MG titles I have read in a long time - it hasn't left my head in weeks. So pleased you loved this title so much! And crossing fingers you will get to meet Holly Goldberg Sloan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carrie-I think I'd better watch your reviews even more closely!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Beware, you may not get to sleep, Gigi!

      Delete
  4. Counting by 7s quickly became one of my favorites! I completely agree with this line, "Each character was treated with respect for their unique qualities, even in the imperfections." YES, YES, YES! Lately, I'm tiring of books that take all of the characters perspectives or switch between, but the switching of perspective (in this book) is necessary and wonderful. I miss Willow!! I read it this summer and you've made me want to revisit these characters.

    By the way, have so much fun at NCTE. It's such an amazing experience. Soak it in! Relish the amazing people you'll meet and please share your adventures with those of us that won't be there this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Michelle. It was such a pleasure to read. And I will share as much as possible from NCTE-everyone might get tired of it!

      Delete
  5. Linda,
    HI! Thanks for sharing your review of the book-Counting by 7's. You have sparked an interest and I hope to have time to read it in the near future!
    Also, I am looking forward to meeting you at NCTE! So excited! See you soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Amy, hope you enjoy the book too, and will love meeting you!

      Delete
  6. I am on the waiting list for this book from the library. The reviews of this from various bloggers have intrigued me, and now you have pushed the intrigue further. Have a great time in Boston, wish I could go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Elsie-hope everyone reads fast so you can check the book out soon! I know I'll have a good time, but it's a bit overwhelming-many choices!

      Delete
  7. Love this book! Glad you broke with routine. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Looking forward to finally meeting you in person on Thursday night (and then again on Saturday morning).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hurrah-me too, Stacey. Happy traveling!

      Delete
  9. Breaking routines... you bet! A week in Cancun and I was all about reading and getting back to obsession with the next page even if I didn't know if I cared about the ending... I wish I could still embrace YA lit but honestly, I don't have enough people to share that with so I'm sticking with just A lit for now. I love your communities and can't wait to see you in Boston :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loved seeing the photos, Bonnie, even the rainy days! So happy it was a good trip! See you!

      Delete
  10. You make me want to get this book right now!!! I will read it soon. Can't wait for NCTE. You will be sharing for a long time and how wonderful to be able to do that. It is a fantastic conference.
    Janet F.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See you soon, too, Janet! Hope you'll find time to find this book! Maybe at the conference?

      Delete
  11. An unusual book - so moving and so true on so many levels. Some of my kids have loved reading it as much as I did, some find it difficult to get into. I think the latter will be back for a second look in the years to come - and will love it, too.
    PS: See you in Boston!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that I'm not sure what students will enjoy this book Tara. We've had a few younger ones who had a struggle with it-it's almost for the younger adolescent. See you soon!

      Delete
  12. This is the 2nd review for this book that I've read in the past week - both really positive. Must read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you must, Dana. Hope you enjoy it!

      Delete
  13. One of my students says this is a Newbery! I have yet to read it, but must move it up on the list. Have a great trip to Boston. I am very envious of the buzz!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is on the list of our Newbery lunch club Leigh Anne. Wish you were going to Boston, too! I'll post about it!

      Delete
  14. You made me want to read this. Can't wait.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hmmm. I commented but was in a hurry for a meeting, so must have shut down without publishing...duh.
    Anyway, your post got me interested in finding out more about the book and I went to Amazon and read some pages. Sounded interesting so I bought it! I think I'll spend some quality time with it on my iPad this evening.
    Have a great time in Boston. Hope you get to meet the author!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow-hope you like it, Donna. I'm not sure she will be there, sad to say. I haven't found her name on any list yet! Thanks!

      Delete
    2. That is such a good book! Couldn't put it down - though I guessed the ending fairly early on. Still, a wonderful book. I'm so glad you reviewed it

      Delete
    3. Just saw this-so happy you liked it, Donna. It is a good story!

      Delete
  16. So many people have raved about this book! I"ll have to move it to the top of my list.
    Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And perhaps before, Catherine! I'm really looking forward to meeting you too, and everything-exciting! (a must read!)

      Delete
  17. Just added it to my Goodreads! Would you say it is more of an independent read or a read aloud for maybe 5th grade students? I can't wait to check it out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would guess it can be either, Jen, but it is quirky, and won't fit all students. I think I'd love to read it aloud, however. There is much to examine about social and emotional issues in it! Hope you enjoy it!

      Delete
  18. Oh how I wish I was going to see you at NCTE Linda. Hopefully next year. I hope you have a wonderful learning experience and get to meet lots of interesting people!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Betsy, I wish you were going too. Maybe All-Write!

      Delete
  19. Linda, I'm so glad we both shared our Counting by 7s book love this week! Hug Holly Goldberg Sloan for me. And hooray for empowering students to accept themselves for who they really are and for extending that same consideration to others!

    ReplyDelete

Having a conversation is a good thing!