The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

5 stars Middle School

I think I inhaled this book! Intrigued by an approaching storm, Lucy (age 8) and her friend Cecel, climb a metal fence to watch it (I thought to myself, who climbs a metal fence during a storm?). When the storm’s lightning came in contact with that fence, both girls lived to tell their story, but Lucy was left with a gift.  Savant Syndrome.

Extremely talented in math, thanks to that severe storm, Lucy has been homeschooled by her grandmother.  Currently, she feels that she’s ready for something else.  Grandmother however, feels differently and challenges Lucy to a year of public middle school.  When the challenge is accepted, Lucy sets the ground rules: she doesn’t want anyone to know about her math abilities.  I think that Lucy believes that she knows what her biggest challenges are but when it all played out, I don’t think she really did. 

I loved that the author addressed many upper elementary/middle school issues, and that, the story itself felt realistic and valid.  These were characters that I felt that I knew; I have heard their stories while I subbed for them and their actions were spot-on. I loved a lot of things about this book: characters, relationships, drama, birthday party and its after-effects, how individuals mature, and the service project. I highly recommend this book.