Avery’s Pick


“Counting By 7s”

AUTHOR: Holly Goldberg Sloan

GENRE: Middle-Grade Fiction

AGES: 10+

RATING: (1-5 stars) 5 Stars



Willow Chance is a 12-year-old genius, obsessed with nature, and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by sevens. 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.



“It’s possible that all labels are curses. Unless they are on cleaning products.”



How it sheds light on experiencing grief at a young age because it isn’t a topic often discussed in

middle-grade books. I feel that it is a very necessary story and one that many will see themselves

represented in.



Willow Chance! She is a wonderful role model who embraces her differences instead of trying to

hide them. Willow’s journey will be inspiring for readers from every walk of life.


FANS OF THIS BOOK MAY ALSO LIKE:Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, “Out of My Mind” by Sharon M. Draper, “Rules” by Cynthia Lord



Manu’s Selections


“Operation Cupcake” 

AUTHOR: Bambi Edlund

GENRE: Non-fiction + Fiction

AGES: 6 – 9

SYNOPSIS: “Operation Cupcake” teaches you about simple machines. Two mice, Ginger and Mac, are hungry. What’s making them hungrier is a cupcake! These smart mice have some bright ideas and all they need are a few simple machines to help them get that cupcake.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK IS: It is informational, while at the same time funny. Fun fact about the author of the book, she loves animals especially the smart, crafty ones.


“Road Trip Earth” 

AUTHORS: Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten

GENRE: Non-fiction

SYNOPSIS: “Road Trip Earth” makes you feel like you are on the greatest adventure. You travel through different parts of the earth. For example, from the ocean to the center of the earth.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK IS: Did you ever wonder why volcanoes erupt? Or how about why no two snowflakes are the same? This book has all those answers! This is for the curious kid like you––and me.


“Walter Finds His Voice: The Story of a Shy Crocodile”

AUTHOR: Ann Kim Ha

GENRE: Fiction

SYNOPSIS: This book is the story of a shy crocodile. Meet Walter, a very, very shy crocodile who takes his time to find his voice. This is the perfect story to inspire little kids who are shy.

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK IS: It tells kids to stand up and be confident, even when they feel shy. I love the story and the illustrations in the book. I highly recommend “Walter…” for my little and big friends.


Seven-year-old Manu is the proud owner of her very own book club, where stories come alive. Curious by nature, she explores both the world of books and the wonders of nature with equal zeal. Manu’s empathy and kindness shine brightly, lighting up the lives of everyone she meets. Check more of her book recommendations at @alwaysastorybook and book club at @md.book.club