The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty is a 4-6 grade juvenile fiction book.
Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning when she was seven, but even though she doesn’t remember getting zapped, he whole life has changed because of it. Lucy is now a super math genius. She can remember any number she sees and the numbers of PI are constantly running through her head.
Math genius though she may be, Lucy does have some other quirks too. She has several obsessive compulsive tendencies and is a big germophob. She’s been home schooled since she was struck and is ready to start taking on college course. But her grandma has other ideas for her.
Lucy can do whatever she wants once she masters 7th grade. She must make it through one year, make one friend, read one book that isn’t a text book, and join one activity. Can Lightning Girl solve the equation of middle school? Or will she crash and burn?
This is one of the 2019-2020 Black Eyed Susan nominees and full of STEM math goodness. So I thought I’d give it a try for my STEM book club. It’s definitely got all those characteristics of a good book club book–lots of thing to discuss–but I’m not sure I can pull a quick/fun STEM activity from it. I’m going to mull it over and see.
The book itself, on top of being yet another take on how to survive middle school, is about friendship and being true to oneself and celebrating our differences. Lucy thinks she can fit in better if she hides her mathematical genius but hiding her true self only makes for an explosion of emotions later on.
This is a quick read and is more about the social issues than the math, but Lucy does do some meaningful things with her math skills and it is always there in the background… just not overwhelmingly so. This would be a great 4-6 grade read for any one.
This one gets 4.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!