Friday, January 24, 2014

What we're reading: Trends

There seems to be a trend in fiction--both adult and teen--right now, to choose a plucky, precocious young girl (ages 9-13) to be the protagonist, who surprises and delights the adults around her with her amazing insights and unusual choices, exhibiting wisdom beyond her years, blah-di-blah-di-blah. In fact, I have read so many of these lately that I'm getting weary of the premise!

But! Having said that, I just read one that completely restored my faith in the precocious girl trend! It's called Counting by 7s.


Willow Chance, 12-year-old genius, is unique, and I don't use that word lightly. Her particular situation (she is adopted at birth and then abruptly orphaned at age 12) is truly tragic, and yet she meets it with aplomb and dignity (and quite a lot of humor). I loved all the other cleverly developed and completely individual quirky characters. The writing was spare and simple, yet incredibly dense in detail, and I couldn't put the book down, start to finish. It is a seriously good story, and such an elevation above this apparently now-common trope that I want to read it again already!

The book's author, Holly Goldberg Sloan (who also wrote my "best of 2012" pick for teen book, I'll Be There), will be paying us an author visit at Burbank Public Library on Thursday, March 6, at 7:00 p.m. (at the Buena Vista branch). She will speak, answer questions, and autograph her books, both of which will be for sale at the event. I urge you to attend this program and find out what else Holly has in store, because so far she's two for two!

(And by the way, if you liked Eleanor & Park, I'll bet you would like this too!)

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